Virtual reality and immersive technologies

The Learning Environments virtual reality lab allows staff and researchers to explore and experiment with interactive virtual reality applications for use in teaching and learning, research and engagement.

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. Consultations and demonstrations are available for academic staff, professional staff and research higher degree students working on virtual reality related projects.

Man wearing a virtual reality headset

Current projects

Related links

VR activities at the University

Other areas exploring new technologies at the University

Other ways to get involved in the VR community

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

Research publications

  • Tamplin, J., Loveridge, B., Clarke, K., Li, Y., & J Berlowitz, D. (2019). Development and feasibility testing of an online virtual reality platform for delivering therapeutic group singing interventions for people living with spinal cord injury. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 1357633X19828463. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X19828463

Getting started with VR

This comprehensive guide to getting started with virtual reality is a great resource for headsets and information. So is this one. 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. Disposable face-masks from VRCover may also be an appropriate option.

Equipment

Standalone VR HMD's such as the Oculus Quest can be great for an easy to use and support experience. If you require PC-based VR then follow the recommended VR specifications and choose from a number of pre-built ‘VR-ready’ systems. Contact us for the latest hardware recommendations.

Simulator sickness

When developing for virtual reality, although different users have varying levels of tolerance 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. This article Keeping Simulator Sickness Down provides an excellent overview of this issues to keep in mind when designing VR experiences.

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.

Make a Virtual reality and immersive technologies enquiry