AVRL Meeting Sep 2016

VR & AR at Scitech

Thursday 29th September 5:30-7pm
UWA Monadelphous Integrated Learning Centre (upstairs)

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Phillip Verschuer from Scitech described their adventures with bringing augmented and virtual reality to the public. Particularly the young, unpredictable demographic.

Scitech designs exhibits that tour the world for around two years and with hundreds of users per day, they need to be tough, reliable and safe.

The expert in-house staff at Scitech design and build all their exhibits and can remotely monitor any problems that crop up while they’re on tour.

Phill described all sorts of surprising scenarios, from simple wear-and-tear on paint and plastics, to children finding extremely innovative ways to entangle themselves. Then there was the mildly repulsive and yet still strangely attention-grabbing uglier side of people: sweat, make-up, odours, dust (mostly human skin!) and so on.

It turns out most consumer VR equipment isn’t rugged enough to survive repeated use in the hands of the general public. So Scitech buys a bunch of equipment, tears it apart and rebuilds it to make it robust enough.

The presentation wrapped up with Phill describing a new VR exhibit Scitech is currently building with help from one of AVRL’s organisers.

After Phill’s presentation…

AVRL’s Jonathan Knispel briefly described some work he’s doing with MakeUWA to extend Mozilla’s A-Painter (like Tilt-Brush in a web browser) so multiple HTC Vive users can simultaneously paint in the same VR space.

Caine Chennatt announced the Big Draw Festival at UWA, running 20-29 Oct, where the general public can come and try VR with Google Tilt Brush.

Afterwards the 50 meeting attendees networked and tried out the various VR & AR exhibits brought along by AVRL members and friends.