Daniel Diers

Alumni Group Virtual Reality
Alumni of the Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action
Alumni of the Group Motion Perception and Simulation
Alumni of the Research Group Body and Space perception

Main Focus

Software developer

I work in the research group were I lead the development of various visualization solutions for motion cueing () and virtual and augmented reality setups for experimental research.


I studied Media- and Communication Informatics at Reutlingen University and finished with a masters degree in 2015.

During that time I was working in the Body and Space Perception research group, programming experiment setups. These experiments mostly involved participants experiencing virtual environments through HMDs and were programmed in game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine.

Museum Exhibit

I worked on an exhibit for the in the Museum Schloss Hohentübingen. For this exhibit I created a virtual model of the MPI Cable Robot Simulator in the Unity game engine and animated the model within a 3D scan of the real room. I fit the Program to voiceover text resulting in a VR exhibit of about 5 minutes.

Alternative Reality HMD

For use in experiments, I developed an HMD with an attached stereo camera controllable via Unity. This setup can be used to slant he visual horizon of a participant by any amount in real time.


visualizes simulator motions and body motions during motion simulation in synchronized playback with videos and graphs.

QVis can be used in every step of the experimental workflow, from preparation of an experiment to presentation of the results. By providing synchronized playback, QVis allows to gain a detailed understanding of motion simulation, investigate motion cueing problems, visualize the forces acting on the human body, and present the results to colleagues without having to operate the simulator itself.

QVis is developed in C#, and utilizes simulator models made with the Unity game engine.

Masters Thesis

I wrote my masters thesis in the Body and Space Perception group. The title was "Influencing fear of heights and presence in VR using haptic feedback".

For the experiment I created a scene with high visual fidelity in Unreal Engine 4 that participants experienced using a Oculus Rift DK2. The scene included a apartement interior scene with a balcony overlooking a high drop.

The goal of the research was to address several questions:

  • How does passive haptics (the ability to touch things) influence presence (the feeling of actually physically being in the simulated environment) in VR?
  • How does presence influence fear of heights in VR?
  • How does presence influence the estimated size of heights?

As first condition, a real railing was placed in the exact location of the virtual balcony railing.

As second condition a virtual character was included that undertook the seemingly dangerous task of crossing the pit on a small plank.


None of the conditions were found to exhibit a statistically significant influence on fear or presence. Presence scores for the experiment were very high across all conditions which appears to indicate a ceiling effect, meaning the participants without haptic feedback felt just as present as the participants with haptic feedback. Because each participant only experienced one condition, the differences between them were not known to the participants and thus they did not "miss" haptic feedback.

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

since 04/2015 Software developer for the Motion Perception and Simulation research group , Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany


03/2014 - 06/2014 Internship at the Body and Space Perception research group, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany

07/2014 - 03/2015 Research Assistant at the Body and Space Perception research group, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany

02/2011 - 09/2013 Student Assistant at Kommunale Informationsverarbeitung Reutlingen-Ulm


09/2012 - 02/2015 Master of Science Media- and Communication Informatics

03/2009 - 08/2012 Bachelor of Science Media- and  Communication Informatics

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