Take off with Birdly

Published: 11th March 2015 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2015 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

Take off with

Here comes Birdly, a virtual reality flight simulator, conceived and designed in Switzerland. If you want to experience flying, Birdly is an exciting way to savour it.

Even in simulated flying experiences, while a pilot can fly the plane, he/she cannot ‘become’ the plane. Birdly changes  that. This little device turns you into a bird, soaring and diving at will.

The salient feature is that unlike other flight simulators or virtual reality machines, Birdly is not controlled by the user.

Instead, you mount the installation, put on a pair of virtual reality goggles (Occulus Rift) and get the feeling of embodying a bird (in this case, a red kite). The user, then, flies over a 3 D model of a landscape complete with effects of wind, smell and sound.

Birdly was created by Professor Max Rheiner from IAD Interaction Design at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). It was developed in 2013 for the anniversary of the Birdlife Centre in Zurich on the theme of ‘fascination with flight.’

As a media artist with an interest in out-of-body experiences, Rheiner was happy to design the installation. His design research is dedicated to embodiment design. Swissnex India has brought Birdly to India and along with it, has come a team of  experts.  The exhibit, they say,  evokes the  flying embodiment due to sensory-motor coupling. The participant can control the simulator with his or her hands and arms, which directly correlates to the wings and the primary feathers of the bird. Those inputs are reflected in the flight model of the bird and displayed physically by the simulator through nick, roll and heave movements.

Visualised through HMD (Oculus Rift) the participant is embedded in a virtual landscape where his or her body is the body of a red kite. The whole scenery is perceived in the first person perspective of a bird.

The olfactoric feedback is based on the location which the bird flies over in the scenery and ranges from the scent of a forest, soil, to several other odors of the wilderness. The simulator regulates the wind with a fan. To book a slot to try out Birdly, visit: or

Or till March 13, visit

Swissnex India

#26 Rest House Crescent Road, Off Church Street, Bengaluru 1.

On March 14, visit

Rangoli Metro Art Center

Boulevard, MG Road

Bengaluru 1.


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