$5M virtual reality centre opens at Adelaide

Tuesday, 4 May 2004

A new $5 million virtual reality centre will be officially opened at the University of Adelaide at 12noon today (Tuesday, May 4).

Opened by University of Adelaide Chancellor Mr Robert Champion de Crespigny, the 3D Visualisation Facility is based at the University's Santos Petroleum Engineering Building and will provide a major boost to teaching and research in South Australia.

The state-of-the-art facility has four partner universities - the three South Australian universities and Curtin University in Western Australia - as well as industry and government partners.

"This facility will put Adelaide at the forefront in three-dimensional research in Australia," says Professor of Petroleum Engineering and Management Ashok Khurana.

"We hope to make a real impact in the way research and teaching is conducted across many areas of the University of Adelaide, and to provide a world-class facility for those outside of the University."

The 3D Visualisation Facility is underpinned by some serious technology. It features three imposing screens, each with its own rear-projection system, which combine for a total viewing area of 15 square metres. Motion tracking, full stereo sound and real-time computing capability area are also essential components.

It also boasts an "intelligent whiteboard" - which can record anything written on it in digital form, and send it anywhere in the world - and can link up with the international Access Grid system, allowing visual and audio-based remote collaboration with more than 250 universities around the world.

And later this year, the facility will be upgraded to include "haptic" capacity, or the ability to recognise the sense of touch - such as giving medical students the ability to "feel" the difference between virtual skin, muscle, tendon or bone.

"The applications for this facility are almost limitless and stretch across just about everything the University of Adelaide does, from petroleum engineering and molecular biology to agriculture and wine," Professor Khurana says. "It will also benefit those outside the University such as industry and government, and from the interest we have received in it so far we expect to be very busy keeping up with demand."

 

Contact Details

Professor Ashok Khurana
Email: ashok.khurana@adelaide.edu.au
Professor of Petroleum Engineering and Management
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 8036


Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
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Mobile: +61 410 689 084


Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762