Virtual Reality Comes to LINK

Last Wednesday, scholars filled LINK with some of the latest technology in virtual reality during the latest Virtual Reality Users Group meeting. Hosted by Matt Crosslin, Learning Innovation Coordinator for the LINK Lab, faculty and researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) have been exploring virtual or augmented reality and had the opportunity to actually see what others are doing through their research.

Ganesh Sankaranarayanan, an adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering at UTA, presented a virtual reality simulation using an Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset and a hand tracking device created by him and other colleagues. Sankaranarayanan and colleagues designed this combination to help nurses and other medical personnel learn to think through the proper steps of a common surgical accident such as a patient catching fire in the middle of a surgery.

Kris Doelling, a research scientist from UTARI, demonstrated an augmented reality Microsoft HoloLens Device. This device layers 3D virtual images in the real world and has the potential for future implementations in places such as the UTA Smart Hospital. For example, the previously mentioned fire could be virtually augmented on one of the mannequins and students would have to react to the situation.

The goal of the Virtual Reality Users Group is to work together on projects across various disciplines, whether to join existing work or start new research, to further develop the field past the traditional views of virtual reality. For more information about joining the group, please contact Matt Crosslin.

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