The HIVE is joint research project between the department of Computer Science and Software Engineering and the Department of Emerging Technology in Business + Design.

The HIVE (huge immersive virtual environment) is a state-of-the-art virtual environment facility on the Oxford, Ohio campus of Miami University. Construction of the HIVE was funded by grants from the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The HIVE offers completely untethered tracking of multiple users in a physical space of 1,100 square meters. Immersed users of the HIVE wear a Head Mounted Display (HMD) containing integrated headphones and a wearable rendering unit. Everything the user sees and hears is computer generated. It is a unique facility due to the size of the incorporated tracking area. Tracking area dimensions are 25 x 44 meters.

Users are able to navigate naturally through virtual worlds by simply walking. Unlike treadmill or walk-in-place systems, there is no need for users to learn artificial movement metaphors or go through a training period during which they learn to walk in an unnatural manner. Instead, once the wearable rendering unit has been donned, users can begin virtual navigation immediately. While navigating, they will receive the same kinesthetic and vestibular information that they would in everyday life. Natural navigation such as is experienced in the HIVE has been shown to increase user feelings that the world through which they are moving is actually real.

The large physical size and wearable rendering unit of the HIVE allows an increased feeling of presence. Through the use of Redirected Walking (RDW) algorithms, the HIVE can seamlessly simulate virtual worlds of unlimited size. HIVE research focuses on answering questions related to RDW and making the capabilities of the HIVE completely portable so that immersive virtual environments can be available to a much wider audience at a reasonable cost.

HIVE Location

The HIVE is located in Phillips Hall next to the Goggin Ice Arena.
Visit the Miami University campus map for help locating the HIVE.


Eric Bachmann at
Eric Hodgson at