Enter a new reality of your creation.
What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Virtual Reality uses headsets, sometimes in combination with physical spaces, to generate realistic images, sounds and sensations that suspends the users disbelief and allows them to accept a virtual environment as their true reality. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to "look and move around" the artificial world, and interact with virtual features or items.
The NExT Lab provides access to 2 HTC Vive Virtual Reality Systems. The Vive system not only creates an incredibly immersive visual experience, it also uses "room scale" tracking technology, allowing you to move in 3D space and use motion tracked hand held controllers to interact with the environment.
Our VR equipment
Immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality with movements that make you feel like you’re in the action. With 360-degree controllers, headset tracking, directional audio and HD haptic feedback, VR has never felt more real.
Why use VR?
As Virtual Reality allows you to become completely immersed in a digital space it is a powerful tool to experience and inhabit proposed architecture projects, or understand complex environments. Healthcare is using the technology to conduct virtual surgeries, the fashion world is set to use the technology to help people try on clothes, and the gaming industry is set to be flipped when VR becomes the mainstream gaming platform.
The NExT Lab offers a range of training to help you learn how to use the Virtual Reality Equipment. This training includes:
Video tutorials and guides to help you understand and use all the tech in the NExT Lab and the MSD Makerlabs.
Each week a range of introductory sessions are scheduled. Come along and learn about the fundamentals, such as how to setup and prepare VR files, software basics and how to submit a 3D print. No previous experience required.
If you want to learn advanced techniques and processes to extend the possibilities of each technology, these are the sessions for you. Each week a range of sessions will be scheduled - each focusing on a particular technique or skill. You can come to one session or all to get a detailed understanding of the tech.
Book a consultation with the NExT Lab's experienced staff to get help with complex technical challenges specific to your project. Before making a booking, it is expected that you have completed the Introductory and Expansion sessions and attempted to resolve the problem independently.
For a full explanation of the training available see the Training Centre.
The HTC Vives in the NExT lab are available for staff and students to use after completing some basic training.
- Before using the Vive for the first time everyone must attend a Virtual Reality Intro Session. In this session, we will get you up and running with some exciting demos and games. From here you will know how to use the equipment safely and can freely book the equipment for future visits. - Book Now
- After completing the Intro Session you can book a time to use a Vive in the NExT Lab during the Virtual Reality sessions. You can either create your own content or use the Vive with preloaded content. The Training Center provides resources and tutorials for helping you create great virtual environments.
There is no charge for use of the HTC Vive Virtual Reality Equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is VR?
VR or Virtual Reality is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with the 3D worlds. This immersive experience is created through the use of headset goggles that the users are able to view the simulated world through.
What type of VR does the MSD have? What are the benefits?
The MSD has HTC Vive VR headsets for student use and comes with, two hand controllers that allow interaction with world, two base stations that bounce and receive information to the headset and controllers. The two base stations will help to demarcate a boundary for participants to move within. The boundary should be big enough to allow users a full range of body motion without being obstructed. The loans desk will be able to provide the necessary equipment and spaces to use VR in the MSD.
What can VR be used for?
VR is commonly used in the gaming industry however can be applied to the architecture industry by creating immersive experience of a designed space.
Can I try out VR?
Yes, the NExT Lab will be hosting VR information nights for students who would like to be able to try the VR equipment. Students can find the dates of upcoming information sessions and other events from the events section of the NExT Lab website.
How do I book the VR gear?
Student are able to book the VR through the bookings section of the NExT Lab website. Students will need book an introductory session to learn the basics of setting up the VR equipment and how to operate it safely. Expansion sessions are available for students to learn further information and consultations will be available for students to book.
Can I use VR outside of the NExT lab?
The print room has VR equipment that is available to MSD students who have completed the Fabrication Workshop Level 1 induction online quiz. Student can book the equipment through the Loans and Bookings website. The NExT Lab and the the MSD Loan facilities use HTC Vives for VR, however other options for students to experiment with include the Google Cardboard and the Samsung Oculus. Both Google Cardboard and the Samsung Oculus use a mobile phone to create the virtual experience.