Skip to main content
European Commission logo

The innovative use of virtual and mixed reality to increase human comfort by changing the perception of self and space

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€4 592 294
EU Contribution
€3 424 849
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Deployment planning/Financing/Market roll-out
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

VR-HYPERSPACE addresses the concerns expressed in ACAREs Vision 2020 publication of changing demographics and increased urbanization, resulting in a society (in 2050 and beyond) needing more long-range transport for business and social-related mobility.

As leaders in their field, the VR-HYPERSPACE consortium brings the scientific and technological excellence required to address the significant challenges of this high impact project. The results are expected to not only provide significant contribution to future transport needs of beyond 2050, but potentially can provide breakthroughs for Europe's social, economic, health, environmental and industrial challenges.


What is required is a radical approach to conventional thinking with regards to the internal and external dimensions of the cabin, and revolutionary methods to support passenger comfort and experience. The challenge is how to place passengers in the minimum amount of physical space, while maintaining a high level of comfort and satisfaction. VR-HYPERSPACE will carry out fundamental research and development leading to a paradigm shift in relation to passenger comfort.

The overall aim is to carry out fundamental research and development leading to a paradigm shift in relation to passenger comfort. Bringing together state of the art research in neuroscience, psychology of perception and future visions of virtual and mixed reality technologies, we will investigate the use of positive illusions that will enable the passenger to feel well, in an extended or alternative space, able to carry out a variety of activities and still feel comfortable while in a limited space.


The project adopts radical approaches using virtual and mixed reality technologies to change perception of space, and more profoundly change the very perception of oneself. Through the use of breakthrough and emerging methods and technologies, positive illusions will be created to make the passenger feel that they are in an extended space with others, looking well and feeling comfortable and able to carry out a wider range of activities than before possible. Our vision is that regardless of future trends in aviation technology and future variations in the interior of airplane cabins that we could utilize ever advancing state-of-the-art virtual and mixed reality technology to enhance the experience of a passenger on an airplane.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
The European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Specific funding programme


Increasing passenger comfort thanks to virtual reality

Air travel is frequently associated with discomfort due to issues with personal space as well as the ability to work, sleep or rest. An EU initiative investigated how to maximise passenger comfort within the aircraft's restricted physical space by changing the perception of self and space.

The EU-funded (VR-HYPERSPACE) (The innovative use of virtual and mixed reality to increase human comfort by changing the perception of self and space) project set out to increase aircraft passengers' comfort in 2050 and beyond.

To achieve this, project partners combined research in neuroscience, the psychology of perception, virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) to engender 'positive illusions' of comfort regardless of variation in aircraft cabin interiors.

The team developed scenarios describing the passengers' experiences of comfort and their interactions with others and their general environment. A literature review considered self-embodiment in VR and human perception of space from different perspectives. This led to a vision of suitable aircraft cabin interiors for 2050 and beyond for several passenger scenarios.

To assess how VR can improve comfort, scientists tested the concept during a long-haul flight with headsets used on smartphones. They studied whether including VR technology in the aircraft itself can enhance comfort.

Mock-ups of aeroplane seating arrangements were designed featuring TV monitors on the floor and on seat backrests that project images onto the walls. The aircraft's shell and the seats in front can be switched to a 'see-through mode' that displays aerial views of stunning landscapes. Findings indicate that altering body awareness can boost perceived levels of comfort and spaciousness.

Lastly, project members drew up a roadmap to support the competitiveness and sustainability of Europe's aerospace industry and to achieve a high level of comfort for passengers through emerging VR and MR technologies and advances in neuroscience and psychology.

By exploiting state-of-the-art VR technology, VR-HYPERSPACE is poised to transform airline passenger comfort in the second half of the century.


Lead Organisation
The University Of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom
EU Contribution
€571 021
Partner Organisations
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.v.
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€471 906
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Wissenschaften Ev
HOFGARTENSTRASSE 8, 80539 München, Germany
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€488 912
Thales Alenia Space Italia
via Saccomuro 24, 00131 Rome, Italy
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€205 073
Bauhaus-Universitaet Weimar
Geschwister Scholl Strasse 8, 99423 Weimar, Germany
EU Contribution
€374 700
Airbus Defence And Space Gmbh
Ludwig-Boelkow-Allee 1, 85521 Ottobrunn, Germany
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€202 656
Universitat De Barcelona
Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes 585, 8007 Barcelona, Spain
EU Contribution
€373 932
Institute Of Communication And Computer Systems
Patission, 10682 Athens, Greece
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€362 400
Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus Vtt
TEKNIIKANTIE 21, 02150 ESPOO, Finland
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€374 249


Technology Theme
Safety systems
Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality for navigation and safety
Development phase

Contribute! Submit your project

Do you wish to submit a project or a programme? Head over to the Contribute page, login and follow the process!