VR and Your Research

By Kaitlin Logie, October 7th 2016.

Virtual Reality and Your Research

Virtual reality is now reality! Although fairly expensive, major devices such as Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive are hitting the shelves of developers all over the world. But getting your hands on development time with a VR headset is not as complicated as it seems. Let us help you!

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(image by multiplay)

What is VR?

Virtual reality is an immersive and interactive experience generated by a computer and experienced through a headset. While in virtual reality you are able to “look around” the artificial world, move about in it and interact with it. Although virtual reality is often associated with video games, you can use game engines such as Unity as a powerful resource/tool to allow immersive visualization of research data through VR.

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(image by multiplay)

How is this a helpful tool?

As a researcher, visualizing your data in an interactive environment is an incredibly powerful tool in the digital age. Not only does it help you to personally understand and manipulate your own data, but also it allows for a fully immersed demonstration of ideas. Whether is be manipulating molecules in 3D, visualizing landscapes or other graphical images in a virtual space, or even using VR as your own development tool to help progress and extend your research.

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(image by Emma Gibbs)

 

How can I access a VR headset?

There is a VR headset available for use at the Centre for eResearch on the City Campus of the University of Auckland. However there is no formalized booking system for this. Contact us directly so we can help you achieve your goals, and come up with a plan.

Nick Young: nick.young@auckland.ac.nz

How do I develop for VR?

There are many ways to use or develop for Virtual Reality headsets, however this is completely dependent on brand of headset and what you are trying to achieve. There is no generic answer for this, however there are people within the eResearch Community that can help you and give you a push in the right direction! The Centre for eResearch holds a “Hacky Hour” every Thursday from 3pm-4pm at Strata on the City Campus where you can come and speak to us about how we can help you, no prior knowledge of software development or VR development needed.

Contact me to set up a Hacky Hour appointment or just turn up. Someone there will be able to help you!

Kaitlin Logie: k.logie@auckland.ac.nz

 

 

 

 

 

 

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