Smart Immersive Environments

The Smart Immersive Environments (SIE) research group is dedicated to researching, developing and optimising the use of virtual reality technologies for engineering applications, in construction, in the laboratory and in industry. We cover the entire virtualisation cycle, from digitisation to smart virtual environments in immersive systems.

Fields of Research

Immersive Environments
Immersive Environments

A special focus is on the development of the virtual reality system PolyVR, in which results from research and industry projects have been sustainably integrated since 2009. This allows synergies to be built up and significantly more complex applications to be implemented. This is the basis for being able to research current topics efficiently.

Development of intelligent immersive applications in the following areas of engineering:
  • Industry 4.0: Virtual/hybrid twins, virtual factory.
  • Civil Engineering: Building Information Modeling (BIM)
  • Energy: Renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Future of work: immersive work environments, collaboration, learning and teaching.
Research goals and topics:
  • Automation of the virtualization process for the creation of hybrid twins.
  • Algorithms for segmentation and semantic processing of spatial data such as GIS and 3D scans.
  • Geometry analysis for semi-/automated simulation parameterization
  • Interactive simulations in XR
  • Virtual commissioning of machines and plants
  • Synchronous and asynchronous immersive collaboration and development of novel interaction paradigms for XR systems
  • Methods for cost-benefit capture and analysis of XR technologies to support investment decisions
Technologies and tools used:
  • Methods and strategies of virtual engineering
  • Development of the Virtual Reality Engine "PolyVR
  • Application of Artificial Intelligence

For our research we have the laboratories of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Talents (CAIT) at our disposal.

name title function e-mail
Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Phys. Research associate victor haefner does-not-exist.kit edu
Dr.-Ing. Postdoctoral researcher and head of the research group "Collaborative Immersive Environments". polina haefner does-not-exist.kit edu
M.Sc. Research Associate anjela mayer does-not-exist.kit edu
M.Sc. Research Associate felix michels does-not-exist.kit edu
title short description contact

Virtual Collaboraiton Laboratories Baden-Württemberg

Dr. Ing. Polina Häfner

PolyVR is a virtual reality 3D engine with main focus is the scalability of hardware setups and scene authoring and management.
title author source date

Victor Häfner

4. Fachkonferenz zu VR/AR-Technologien in Anwendung und Forschung an der Professur Werkzeugmaschinen und Umformtechnik, 2017, Chemnitz, Germany, ISBN 978-3-00-058419-0, Pages 151-162

Dezember 2017

M. Elstermann, C. van Husen, P. Häfner

Proceedings of the QUIS15 International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management,
June 12-15 2017, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

12.-15. Juni 2017

Jana Dücker, Polina Häfner, Jivka Ovtcharova



Jana Dücker, Polina Häfner,

Jivka Ovtcharova

 Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) edited by Springer (Konferenz Salento AVR)


Polina Häfner, Matthes Elstermann, Victor Häfner, Jivka Ovtcharova

Proceedings of EuroVR Conference 2016, Athene, Greece


Dücker, Jana; Häfner, Polina; Ovtcharova, Jivka

VAR² 2015, 3. Fachkonferenz zu VR/AR-Technologien in Anwendung und Forschung in Chemnitz


Häfner, Polina; Dücker, Jana

18. IFF-Wissenschaftstage in Magdeburg 2015, Digital Engineering zum Planen, Testen und Betreiben technischer Systeme


Bayart, Benjamin; Vartanian, Alexis; Häfner, Polina; Ovtcharova, Jivka

 IEEE Virtual Reality2015, Industrial Paper, Arles, France


Katicic, Jurica, Häfner, Polina, Ovtcharova, Jivka 

Presence Presence, Vol. 24, No. 1

Winter 2015

Häfner, Victor

EuroVR 2014, Bremen, Germany

08 - 10.12.2014

Hummel, Simon; Häfner, Victor; Häfner, Polina; Ovtcharova, Jivka

08 - 10.12.2014

Häfner, Polina; Seeßle, Julia; Dücker, Jana; Zientek, Matthias; Szeliga, Filip 

EuroVR 2014, Bremen, Germany

08 - 10.12.2014

Schuck, Hendrik; Häfner, Victor; Ovtcharova, Jivka

Digital Engineering zum Planen, Testen und Betreiben technischer Systeme, 17. IFF-Wissenschaftstage, Fraunhofer - Institut für Fabrikbetrieb und -automatisierung IFF, Magdeburg

24. - 26. June 2014

Jivka Ovtcharova, Polina Häfner, Victor Häfner, Jurica Katicic, Christina Vinke

Zukunft der Arbeit in Industrie 4.0, Automonik für Industrie 4.0, Bundesministerium Wirtschaft und Energie 

Mai 2014

Bachvarov, Angel; Maleshkov, Stoyan; Katicic, Jurica, Stoyanova (Häfner), Polina

Proceedings of the 5-th International Conference on Mass Customization & Personalization MCPC 2009, Helsinki, Finland

4-8. October 2009

Bachvarov, Angel; Maleshkov, Stoyan; Katicic, Jurica, Stoyanova (Häfner), Polina

4th International Conference on Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping VRAP 2009, Leiria, Portugal


Häfner, Polina; Vinke, Christina; Häfner, Victor; Ovtcharova, Jivka

IEEE International conference on Computional Intelligence and Virtual Environments for Measurement Systems and Applications (CIVEMSA), 2013, Milano, Italy


Häfner, Victor; Siebel, Jan; Häfner, Polina; Rogalski, Sven 

Zeitschrift für wirtschaftlichen Fabrikbetrieb (ZWF), 108. Jahrgang, Hanser Verlag, Heft März 2013, S. 123-127

März 2013

Wicaksono, Hendro; Dobreva (Krahtova), Preslava; Häfner, Polina; Rogalski, Sven

5th International Conference Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development, 2013, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal

19-22 September 2013

Häfner, Polina; Häfner, Victor; Wicaksono, Hendro; Ovtcharova, Jivka

5th International Conference Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development, 2013, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal

19-22 September 2013

Häfner, Polina; Häfner, Victor; Ovtcharova, Jivka

International Conference on Virtual and Augmented Reality in Education 2013, Procedia Computer Science Volume 25, 2013, Pages 251–260 (Best Paper Award)



Handfest, Alexander; Schröder, Michael; Grefe, Philip; Carra, Pablo; Häfner, Polina

Wissenschaftliche Konferenz "WIRTSCHAFT UND TECHNOLOGIE IM DIENST DER GESELLSCHAFT", 2013, Sofia, Bulgarien


Katicic, Jurica; Häfner, Polina; Ovtcharova, Jivka

5th Joint Virtual Reality Conference 2013, Campus Paris Saclay (Berst Paper Award)

11-13 December 2013