Tarsier Goggles, developed at Dartmouth College, simulates a tarsier's vision and illustrates the adaptive advantage of this animal's oversized eyes. The open-access software features three virtual learning environments: Matrix, Labyrinth and Bornean Rainforest. Bornean tarsiers have protanopia, a form of red-green colorblindness. In the virtual Bornean Rainforest, users can move through the forest, leaping and clinging to trees in a dark, maze-like space that is practically opaque under human visual conditions but navigable as a tarsier, demonstrating the advantages of tarsier visual sensitivity.
Tarsier Goggles was built in Unity3D with SteamVR for the HTC VivePro, and was coded in C#. The Virtual Reality Toolkit was used to create functionalities such as teleportation. For many of the visual effects, Unity's built-in post processing stack was utilized, and the assets were built in Maya. All the visual assets and experience was coded from scratch by the DALI team based on the lab's collaborative, human-centered design approach. Tarsier Goggles illustrates the possibilities for how virtual reality can be applied to science education by providing students with a fun, interactive way to explore complex concepts.