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Virtual Nature Healing Environment

Between May 29 and June 9 we are closed. Starting June 10 we wll be in Langezijds.

Virtual Nature is a desktop application created by the BMS Lab. Researchers at the University of Twente can use the software to create various virtual nature scenes in order to study participants’ well-being, social presence, and more. Aside from its visual elements, sounds, and music can be integrated within the scenes as well as scents within the research environment. In addition, you can borrow different scents and use the scent machine to further improve immersion. 

Try Virtual Nature
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Virtual Nature For Research And Education

An example of research is Augmented Nature. Watch the video or read this article to find out more:  https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/18/6879 

An additional and more recent example is Otten, K., Van Rompay, T., Van ’t Klooster, J., Gerritsen, D., & Westerhof, G. (2023). Exploring associations of older adults with virtual nature: A randomised factorial online survey. Ageing & Society, 1-19. doi:10.1017/S0144686X23000090

Best practices

To reduce potential issues and challenges, keep the following points in mind before using Virtual Nature for your research:

  • Planning Your Research Design
    1. Think about what you would like to measure. When? What will it deliver afterwards? And how does Virtual Nature fit within your research? This helps you realize what you need to build, when and how much time it will likely take.
    2. Take practical aspects into account: is there an easier way to do it? Uncertain? Ask the BMS Lab.
    3. Consider the limitations of the software to your study. Keep in mind that Virtual Nature is in continuous development which means that bugs might be introduced as a result.
  • Developing Your Research
    1. Ensure that you have approximately 2 – 3 weeks to build your research. You might need to adapt your methodology based on Virtual Nature’s functionalities (see “Further Support” section) or you might need time to get an answer from the BMS Lab.
    2. Your introduction screen should adequately inform your participants and meet the BMS faculty’s ethical standard on informed consent.
    3. Any time you make new additions, make sure to regularly test your research from the participant’s perspective.
    4. Duplicate your research to have a clean backup version.
    5. Test your final version as a participant.
    6. Download your data metrics to ensure that the data output fits with your research.
    7. Found a bug or issue? Please inform us.

Further support 


Want to use virtual nature healing environment?

Go first through the steps on how to reserve the Virtual Nature Healing Environment or go directly to the reservation page if you have already registered your project.