After a short weekend, it is time for term 2 of the TU Berlin Value-added Innovation and Enterprise Work (VIEW) Programme! For this term, we will be seeing both familiar and new faces, as although most students are newcomers this term, some students like us have been here since term 1.
TU Berlin has graciously organised another orientation that is mainly targeted at the newcomers, although we were invited to join too. With pleasure, most of us showed up once again to interact with our new peers, and engage with the organisers of the summer university.
Unlike term 1 which only lasted for 2 weeks, term 2 will last for 4 weeks, and there are 3 courses which the SUTD students are split into based on their choosing: CanSat Satellite Design, Startup Crash Course, and Gaming for Virtual & Augmented Reality.
Gaming for Virtual & Augmented Reality
The Gaming for Virtual & Augmented Reality course is led by Dr. Voigt-Antons, and we spent the first day getting to know each other, as well as listing out our expectations and hopes for the lesson.
During this week, we participated in activities such as learning how VR works, researching more about the different VR headsets in the market, and learning how the human body perceives and processes visual and audio information such that we can interpret them in a 3D space.
We even had the opportunity to try out two Oculus Quest 2 the lecturer brought to the class, as part of a hands-on learning experience!
We were also invited to the Varjo product presentation later that day, where we got to see the Varjo VR-3 in action. The Varjo VR-3 possesses a field of view of 115 degrees, which is the highest in the industry as of now. With a resolution of over 70 pixels per degree and 99% sRGB colour matching, everything looks exactly as it does in the real world.
According to them, only 3 of these VR headsets are in Berlin at this time, so we were really lucky to be able to see and try them!
As part of learning more about gaming, we also had the opportunity to visit the Computerspielemuseum, which contains over 300 interactive exhibits focused around showcasing and illustrating the cultural history of computer gaming!
The Computerspielemuseum was opened in Berlin in 1997 as the world’s first museum for interactive digital entertainment culture. Since then, it has been responsible for over 30 national and international exhibitions, including the “Pong.Mythos” project funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes).
Besides computer games, they also contain a ton of game-related items, such as trade magazines, home computers, console systems, videos, posters and even game manuals!
It was interesting to not only see how games and game consoles have evolved over time, but also to learn more about the history and cultural implications of computer games. Can you spot anything that you have interacted with, played, or owned before?
Besides going to TU Berlin, we also explored Berlin when we were free, and the Sunday flea market near Samariterstraße was one of the places we went.
As its name implies, the Sunday flea market is only open on Sundays, and it is full of various booths which sold a wide assortment of goods, such as old electronic devices, cassette tapes, vinyl, figurines, and even insects in resin blocks!
Among the curiosities was a book called The Goethe Gallery: from the original drawings of Wilhelm Von Kaulbach. This book was in German, but its beautiful illustrations transcends language barriers.
In the end, we had to purchase it, alongside other items which we found interesting too. Can you believe that the book only cost 5 Euros? Nowhere in Singapore could you find such a good deal for a book, much less an interesting one such as this!
In overall, it was a good experience! Most of the things were fairly cheap, and you could occasionally negotiate with the store owners for a better deal. We look forward to exploring similar flea markets around Germany to see what they have to offer.
And that was week 3 of the TU Berlin VIEW Programme! It has been a great introduction to Gaming for Virtual & Augmented Reality, and we look forward to learning more over the next 3 weeks, as well as many more weeks of exploring Berlin!