Augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D web technologies are set to receive a major boost in Australia, as CSIRO’s Data61 announces its Immersive Environments Lab.
The lab will be part of the CSIRO’s new $100 million facility in Canberra, giving CSIRO and Data61 engineers and researchers the means to develop new interactive technologies and imaging services, specifically focused around 3D, virtual and augmented reality environments.
Matt Adcock, Senior Research Engineer and Experimental Scientist at CSIRO’s Data61, said that the team’s effort would focus on new applications and custom software, citing remote paramedic support to first responders at an accident site as an example, and maintenance staff interacting with smart buildings in novel ways.
“AR technologies can sense elements of the physical environment and enable delivery of holographic data right where and when it is needed most,” Mr Adcock said.
“But while the hardware is evolving at a rapid pace, the digital services that can run on that hardware are just beginning to be explored.”
The new facility hosts a fleet of new toys — wearable holographic computing devices, spatial cameras, 3D object scanners, haptic (virtual touch) displays, interactive projection mapping stages and motion capture rigs.
Inside the CSIRO building that contains the lab sits a cloud-based smart glasses system, developed by Data61, which displays historical and real-time data on energy usage, overlaid directly on the appliances consuming the energy.
Adrian Turner, CEO of Data61, said the new facility has connections into Data61’s deep expertise – in areas such as decision sciences, data sharing and visualisation, collaborative systems, Internet of Things, machine learning, in-situ analytics and robotics, with the ability to leverage CSIRO’s broad expertise in manufacturing and agriculture.
“Augmented reality now is where the Web was several decades ago – on the cusp of broad adoption, as the technology and compelling use cases have matured,” he said.