Humphrey II

Concept: Robert Abt
Martin Honzik
Horst Hörtner
Stefan Mittlböck-Jungwirth
Date: 2005


The vision of being able to fly is certainly one of mankind’s oldest dreams. Gliding effortlessly above the roofs of Linz, seemingly freed from the pull of gravitation, or plunging into the depths of the beautiful blue Danube—Humphrey II makes it possible. Enhanced with a 3D underwater world and expanded navigation capabilities, the flight simulator installation that has been one of the Museum of the Future’s most popular attractions is now a diving simulator too.

Intuitive arm movements enable users to navigate through virtual worlds. Those who opt for the aeronautic variant can fly through the cityscape of Linz past prominent landmarks like the Cathedral, the Castle and the Brucknerhaus. And ambitious pilots can show they’ve got the right stuff on a special Humphrey test course.

In the scuba variant, divers experience the Danube and its inhabitants—floating weightlessly, driven by the currents and enjoying thrilling experiences. Two stations have also been installed for collaborative adventures with very young Museum guests who aren’t allowed to dive yet. It’s a joint operation salvaging unimagined treasures from the depths of the Danube.

The constant improvement of computers’ processing performance capabilities makes possible increasingly exact simulations in artificial environments. A force feedback apparatus—a system of pneumatic tubes in which the user is suspended—makes it possible to mechanically simulate physical forces in a virtual environment. This technology imparts a realistic feeling of the weightlessness and centrifugal force generated during a flight or a dive.

© Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, info@aec.at