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.

VR Lab

The Learning Environments Virtual Reality Lab (est. 2014) facilitates the development and application of immersive technologies in teaching and learning, research and engagement. Online consultations are available for academic staff, professional staff and research higher degree students working on virtual reality related projects. Advice related to virtual production using green screen technology and mixed-reality capture is also available. Learning Environments collaborates with researchers across the University on a range of interdisciplinary projects.

Virtual production

Interview with SUTU (Stuart Campbell) as part of a case study for the Creativity, Genius, Expertise and Talent subject in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. VR footage filmed in the Learning Environments VR lab (Oct 2019).

Current projects

2022

Interrogating the Ethics of Biometric Capture in Immersive Musical Performance

Research publications

2020

Loveridge, Ben. "Networked Music Performance in Virtual Reality: Current Perspectives." Journal of Network Music and Arts 2, 1 (). https://commons.library.stonybrook.edu/jonma/vol2/iss1/2

VR avatar
Networked music performance in virtual reality: Comparing the experience of singing in virtual reality with videoconferencing.

2019

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, https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X19828463. Open access version: https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/238828

VR Music Therapy
Music therapy in virtual environments: Developing a virtual reality platform for telehealth group singing interventions for people with quadriplegia.

Media and articles

Related areas and activities at the University

360/3D tours and information

Getting started with VR

The field of immersive technology is ever-changing so information and advice can go out of date very quickly. We recommend to contact us for assistance with the latest advice on headsets and use cases.

Online courses (self-paced)

Hygiene

For high-use cases such as public demonstrations or classes we recommend purchasing VR covers. 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. Cleanbox is another option for the snaitation of VR devices.

Equipment

Standalone VR HMD's can be great for an easy to use and support experience. If you require PC-based VR, check out this article on purchasing a VR ready system but keep in mind the date of last update. Charles Sevigny from the School of Biosciences wrote an overview in 2019 about how to choose headsets: Virtual Reality in Education - Understanding a range of features to select appropriate headsets. You can also 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.

When recording 360 degree content or displaying videos in the classroom, we recommend that special care be taken to ensure students are not subject to hardware or experiences that induce nausea (ie rollercoaster rides on a Google cardboard system or 360 degree videos filmed from a first-person handheld perspective). Commercially available headsets from. Limiting time for users experiencing 3DoF content (such as 360 photos or videos) is an important consideration since translational movement is not tracked and the effects of this mismatch can build up over time.

Although not everyone experiences simulator sickness in the same way, designing for the health and safety of the audience in mind ensures the most accessible experience for everyone. Furthermore, shooting 360 video using a tripod is also a great way to retain the cleanest image by reduces compression artefacts from camera movement.

Demonstrations of virtual reality experiences need to be accessible for all users since a poorly designed or setup experience will often 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

This page was last updated on 24 May 2022.

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