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Multisensory worlds of experience: Fraunhofer-Institute for Building Physics IBP conducts research for Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier. Credit: Fraunhofer-Institute for Building Physics IBP

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield cooperates with new partners on multisensory worlds of experience

The cooperation with Fraunhofer Institute focuses on application possibilities and scenarios for Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies.

The company colaborates with renowned Fraunhofer-Institute for Building Physics IBP in the context of the technology transfer program of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft “AHEAD” as well as Virtual Reality Headquarter Hamburg. The focus is on multisensory worlds of experience with the aim of integrating them into the event and marketing concept for Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier. At the same time, the company is expanding its network for future-oriented mobility solutions.

The cooperation with Fraunhofer Institute focuses on application possibilities and scenarios for Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. The researchers also go beyond the visual channel. Digital technology is used to address all five human senses.

“Our goal is to merge the real and virtual worlds and thus enable immersive experiences,” said Daniel Neves Pimenta, scientist at the Fraunhofer IBP. “Users can, for example, feel warmth and cold, hear complex soundscapes or concerts and perceive matching smells.”

The way in which VR can be used in leisure and shopping environments has been demonstrated by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in the London shopping centers Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. Within the experience world “Jungle Adventure” visitors had the chance to go on a virtual journey into a digital jungle environment.

“Virtual reality gives us the opportunity to create experiences that go beyond everyday life,” commented Joscha Domdey, Innovation Manager at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Germany and responsible for the innovation strategy at Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier. “Through the early and close exchange with Fraunhofer IPB and other partners, we on the one hand want to ensure that we consider all necessary aspects right from the beginning and on the other hand to share our own experience with developers.”

VR made in Hamburg: Virtual Reality Headquarter

The cooperation with Virtual Reality Headquarter is also part of the fusion of the digital and real worlds. Under this name, the virtual and augmented reality start-ups Noys VR, Spice VR, Spherie and VR-Nerds have developed a joint work and exhibition space at Kreativspeicher M28 in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt.

“It was our idea to create synergies through short distances, to develop a central contact point for all VR and AR projects and thereby gain experience quickly and make progress together”, said Pascal Kümper, Co-Founder of Noys VR. ” We cover a wide range of areas from professional business applications, gaming and music to art and science”.

Noys VR immerses viewers in concerts and creates a new live music experience. Spice VR takes viewers on virtual journeys in 360-degree films developed with a combination of VR and drone technology. Spherie also focuses on 360° experiences and has developed the world’s first 360° film and scanning drone. The VR nerds have created the largest German-language online platform on the subject of virtual reality to date.

Cooperation for holistic mobility solutions

In addition to creating virtual experiences, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is also expanding its cooperation network in the field of innovative mobility solutions. The company supported a research project at the University of Cologne from April to July 2019. As part of the CEMS Business Project on the “Future of Mobility”, students were invited to implement their ideas in a practice-oriented manner. The results of the project will be integrated directly into the mobility and traffic planning for Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier.

At the beginning of 2019, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield have already announced its cooperation with the young Hamburg companies Wunder Mobility and e-floater. In the search for innovative ideas, solutions and cooperation partners, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield focuses not only on mobility / traffic and virtual reality / augmented reality, but also on digital networking, smart building technologies, community management and coworking.

Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier: A new piece of Hamburg

In Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier, a total of 14 individual buildings are being constructed, which will form a new lively hotspot in Hamburg with outstanding architecture and a unique mix of uses. Retail, entertainment concepts and more than 40 gastronomy units will be fine-tuned to connect offices, three hotels, a cruise terminal and a total of 650 apartments. The mixed-use district consists of a total area of 419,000 sqm and will be realized by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield till the end of 2022 with an investment sum of over one billion euros. The foundation stone for the project was laid in May 2019.


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