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 IU Trident Indiana University

UITS Research Technologies

Cyberinfrastructure enabling research and creative activities



The IQ-Force is part of a distributed visualization initiative here at the Indiana University Advanced Visualization Lab. The goal of this initiative is to use commercial-off-the-shelf hardware and open-source software to provide low-cost, advanced visualization resources for the University community and beyond. The IQ name stems from the four qualities: Inexpensive, Interactive, Immersive, and Interface (I-quaded or IQ). Another key quality of any IQ system is its ability to be relatively easily built, installed, and configured in a variety of spaces.


The IQ-Force was created in 2011 and is a table-top device that combines stereographic rendering with physical force and tactile feedback. Allowing the user to see their real hand in the same physical vicinity as the virtual simulation provides a more natural sense of scale, orientation, and augmentation. The Force is driven by a single desktop computer running Windows.

Current deployments

  • The Advanced Visualization Lab at IUPUI.
  • The IU School of Dentistry at IUPUI.

Suggested user communities and use cases

IQ Force

Dental simulation. The IQ-Force is currently being used the IU School of Dentistry as a dental simulator to train students on select procedures. Of course, it is also appropriate for other areas of simulation such as medicine and engineering.

3D Sculpting. When combined with a digital sculpting software package, such as Claytools, the IQ-Force is an ideal environment for design.


As of early 2013, the total cost for an IQ-Force, including the computer is approximately $5,000.

Building an IQ-Force

The IQ-Force is an open design. While we will gladly support building, installation, and/or configuration requests for future IQ-Force deployments within Indiana University, we do not plan to manufacture or install these for groups outside of IU. We would, however, very much like to see additional systems built and a wide network of visualization experts, users, and developers connected and working together to share improvements. We will do our best to answer questions or offer limited consulting for anyone interested in building a Force.

If you are interested in building your own, please feel free to download the current version of the parts list for your reference. Please note that prices and specifications may differ from ours to yours. The parts list we provide resembles the most sophisticated and recent IQ-Force built at Indiana University and is meant to get you started toward building your own. 

You may contact us if you have questions, need help solving unanticipated problems, or to simply let us know you are building your own.

IQ-Force parts list (xlsx)


If you choose to use any of this information and build your own, please acknowledge and reference the help of the Indiana University Advanced Visualization Lab. The Advanced Visualization Lab is a unit of the Research Technologies division of University Information Technologies Service and is affiliated with the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University.