Fly like a bird with this epic Oculus Rift contraption

Birdly gives you wings.


A team at the Institute for Design Research at the Zurich University of the Arts have created a project called Birdly, a contraption that uses the Oculus Rift to simulate the experience of flying like a bird.

As you can see in the video, it’s a pretty involved piece of machinery. You control the simulator by flapping your hands and arms, which correlate to the wings of a bird. The Oculus Rift renders the environment of forests and rolling hills, and a fan in the front doesn’t only simulate the appropriate headwind depending on the bird’s speed, but also dispenses smells that correspond to the environment.

Birdly was created in collaboration with the Swiss Association for the Protection of Birds (BirdLife-Naturzentrum Neeracherried). The team behind it told The Rift Arcade that it’s organizing two exhibitions for the project in San Francisco and Vancouver later this summer, but that neither is final.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 83 comments about this story