Animals perceive the world in fundamentally different ways from our own. We can learn about optics in the classroom setting, but how can we translate the knowledge of how those different traits function into how they affect the personal experience of the world? How might seeing through the eyes of another animal change our understanding of the space we inhabit? Tarsiers are tennis ball-sized nocturnal primates with enormous eyes, both in absolute size and in proportion to the size of the animal. What would it be like to have eyes of that proportion?

Download for the HTC VivePro!

GitHub BETA Release


Tarsier Goggles is a virtual reality (VR) project that allows everyone to experience how a tarsier might see. It serves as a tool to engage in hands-on scientific concepts in optics, perceptual science, and evolutionary biology, and also challenges our own thinking about our environment. The experience is self-guided and allows users to toggle between human and tarsier in order to explore different realistic environments with both sets of eyes. Built in Unity3D with SteamVR for the HTC Vive Pro. For various functionalities like teleportation, splash screens, and tooltips for our tutorial, we use Virtual Reality Toolkit (VRTK), an open source library. For many of the visual effects, we used Unity’s built-in post-processing stack. Our assets were built in Maya.


Tarsier Googles has been presented to various audiences including high-school and middle-school students, college communities, and a conference of biological anthropologists.

Team Members: Sam Gochman, D'18, Naman Goyal ‘20, Kristie Chow '20, Stephen Liao '19, Sia Shiyao Peng '19, Andy Eun Kyung Yoon '19, Alma Wang '18, Shirley Zhang '19, Stephanie Xiaoying Guo '18, Lauren Gray '20

Created by students in the DALI Lab