AR and VR get big boost in Australia


New facility promises high value research and development.


Virtual and augmented realties will soon transform everyday life.
Virtual and augmented realties will soon transform everyday life.
Mina De La O/Getty Images

Data61, the data science arm of the CSIRO, Australia’s federal research agency, has announced the opening of a state-of-the-art laboratory built to develop augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D web technologies, which will have applications in many fields.

The facility, called the Immersive Environments Lab, is based in the Australian capital, Canberra.

The laboratory comes equipped with wearable holographic computing devices, virtual touch displays, spatial cameras, interactive mapping systems and motion capture contraptions.

The facility itself is housed within a “smart building” of sorts, worth $100 million, which gives users a breakdown of the historical and current energy usage of all the devices on site.

AR techniques developed by this laboratory are currently being used in the arts and science-themed Powerhouse Museum in Sydney to give visitors a holographic experience of various exhibits in the collection.

Other applications include using AR, VR and web technologies to improve and enhance the health, agricultural, manufacturing, and urban planning sectors.

The Immersive Environments Lab is also partnering with small and medium size business enterprises and government associates to help them adopt advanced technologies early.

“The Immersive Environments Lab will facilitate collaboration between industry, government and universities to place Australia at the forefront of this next wave of technology which will reinvent our industries and create new ways of working and playing,” says Data61 CEO Adrian Turner.

  1. https://data61.csiro.au/
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