Virtual reality & immersive technologies

Of all forms of media, VR probably comes the closest to real world experience. Just like the physical world, it surrounds you in a completely immersive environment. You can use this to create experiences that would be impossible in any other medium. We’ve been sitting in front of flat screens facing forward for too long. It is more exciting and desirable than ever to leverage the space above, below, and behind the user. Excerpt from the Oculus Best Practices Guide

The Learning Environments Virtual Reality Lab was established in 2014 to facilitate the development and application of virtual reality technology in teaching and learning, research and engagement. It has been setup for VR demonstrations as well as the ability the run mixed reality sessions. Consultation and assistance with VR related projects is also available.

Biology students using the Oculus Rift during class
Biology students using the Oculus Rift during class. Photo by Ben Loveridge.

Current projects


Related links

Keep updated about VR related events at the University

Other VR/AR related activities at the University

Other ways to get involved in the VR/AR community

VR meetups are a great way to meet other VR developers and enthusiasts and occur regularly throughout the year around Melbourne.

Relevant publications

Getting Started with VR

This comprehensive guide to getting started with virtual reality is a great resource for headsets and information. For University uses such as teaching and learning or Open Day activities we currently recommend the Oculus Rift but there are other good choices depending on your needs and new hardware is always being released. Check out this article on purchasing a VR Ready system or contact us for assistance.

VR covers

For high uses cases such as public demonstrations or classes we recommend purchasing VR covers. You will also need to buy a few sets of wipes to use between uses. Non-alcoholic antibacterial wipes are also recommended to wipe down the covers between users, alcoholic wipes may be uncomfortable for some people’s faces.

PC hardware

You can either build your own PC based on the recommended VR specifications or choose from a number of pre-built ‘VR-ready’ systems. The official University computer supplier is currently unable to supply VR-ready computers so these systems need to be provided by third-party resellers. Contact us for the latest recommendations.

Simulator sickness

When developing for virtual reality, it’s important to prevent users from experiencing simulator sickness. This occurs when a user in the real world experiences acceleration beyond a personal comfortable level in the virtual world. Different users have varying levels of tolerance but keep this in mind when creating or demonstrating VR.

Public demonstrations of virtual reality experiences need to be accessible for all users since a poorly designed or setup experience can put people of using VR again. We are happy to assist with consultation on VR demonstration best practices. Contact us.

Learning Environments support centre