FAQ & Howto

Which equipment do I need ?

You can start enjoying ATLASrift with nothing more than your standard computer! You can run it as a "videogame", as described later. However, ATLASrift was designed with Virtual Reality in mind, and you can get a better experience by using a VR kit, as described here below.


  • If you have a Virtual Reality headset:

    Great! ATLASrift was designed and developed for VR! With a VR kit, you can really immerse yourself in the experience: you can fly in the ATLAS cavern, you can walk through the desks of the experiment's control room, you can visit the iconic CERN Globe of Innovation!

    For the best VR experience you need the following:

    • A Laptop/PC equipped with a good graphics card: standard PC/laptops are not sufficient, with them 3D graphics would not be smooth enough and people will get motion sickness. Official specs and recommendations can be found here. You can find a list of "VR-ready" PCs and laptops here, too.
    • A VR headset: the immersive effect is maximal with Oculus Rift, but ATLASrift can also be run with other VR sets, like the HTC vive (tested). It should work on the new Oculus Go too, but we did not test it yet. If you have one laying around, you can also use the Oculus development version DK2, which is officially not supported any more, but you will need an extra controler, for example this one


  • If you don't have a Virtual Reality headset

    No problem! You can run ATLASrift as a standard desktop application, like a videogame. You download it on your computer, you launch it...and you'll explore the ATLAS experiment!

    You get all the functionalities. The only difference is that you will use your standard screen and controller (for example, your mouse), instead of a Virtual Reality headset and motion-tracking controllers.



How do I run ATLASrift ?

Note: So far, ATLASrift is built for Windows only. If you want to build it for other platforms, you can follow the guidelines for contributors

On Windows, you can install and run ATLASrift by following the instructions here below.

  1. Install the Oculus Rift software environment on your PC.
  2. Download the latest ATLASRift executable from the project's online space ATLASrift_Shipping. At the moment, you can find the latest version of ATLASRift in the folder called 2018-11.
    [Note: Always use the latest version! Use the older versions ONLY if you need them for whatever reason. For the older versions there are two versions: one "Universal", which works with all VR headsets (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, ...), and one flagged "OR", specific for Oculus Rift]
  3. Extract the zipped file in a folder of your choice, then go to the folders "ATLASrift/Binaries/Win64" and run ATLASRift double clicking on the file "ATLASRift-Win64-Shipping.exe".
    [No need to compile, unless of course you want to contribute to the project development; in that case, see below]


What if I have no VR headset, but I'm still interested in exploring the ATLAS experiment ?

Don't worry! As explained above, you can run ATLASrift without any VR headset: it will just behave as a normal video game. Just download and run the program as described above and enjoy it!

However, be aware that the application is tuned for VR so the point-of-view and the other settings are optimized for a Virtual Reality view and motion-tracking/gesture interaction.


What shall I see in ATLASRift ? 

In the early versions of ATLASrift you will visit the underground ATLAS experiment installations - the detector, the cavern and side galleries - and see how LHC collision events fit into the picture. 

In 2016/2017 two levels were added: the ATLAS control room, where you will learn more about ATLAS data treatment, and the CERN Globe of Science & Innovation, where a virtual exhibit features elements from the ATLAS detector and the history of the ATLAS Collaboration through its first 25 years.


How can I get the application auto-update ?

At first rcreate your Oculus username (you does it when you set your Oculus Rift headset)

Then, simply send to Ilija Vukotic (ivukotic@cern.ch) the mail you used to register with Oculus. He will send you an invitation to join the team of beta testers. In that way you will be always have the application automatically updated.


How can I contribute to the project ?

The application was developed using Unreal Engine https://www.unrealengine.com/ (free for non-profit use) and mainly targeting the Oculus Rift VR headset (even if it can run on any VR headset, or without any VR kit at all).

Contributions are very welcome, check the "Credits and Contacts" page for more information.

The source code and the related instructions can be obtained from https://github.com/ivukotic/ATLASrift.


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