This VR tool lets users see through the eyes of real-life 'gremlins'

Researchers have developed a new virtual reality experience that enables users to see the world the way it may look to a tiny gremlin-like critter called a tarsier. Though the name may not be familiar to many people, some will know the creature by its bug-eyed appearance, and it's those same eyes you can see through yourself if you have an HTC Viveport.

The new tool is called Tarsier Goggles, and it is designed to leverage virtual reality as an educational tool that gives the public a chance to see the world from a different perspective. The simulated tarsier vision was developed at Dartmouth College by professor Nathaniel J. Dominy and Samuel Gochman when he was a student.

Tarsier Goggles were made in collaboration with Dartmouth Applied Learning and Innovation Lab (DALI). The product demonstrates the tarsier's unique vision in three VR environments called Labyrinth, Matrix, and Bornean Rainforest. These modes show the creature's unique vision and highlight the ways it differs from human vision, including red-green colorblindness, different acuity and brightness.

The tool provides students with a hands-on way to discover how the tarsier navigates its world. Talking about the project was Gochman, who said:

Virtual reality offers an immersive experience for understanding some of the properties of the tarsier's vision, as a result of its adaptations. Tarsier Goggles is a science education tool that engages students in hands-on scientific concepts in physics, perceptual science and biology.

Tarsier Goggles is available for anyone to experience, but you'll need a VR-ready Windows PC and an HTC Vive. The tool, as well as instructions on how to download and install it, is available here.