THE MIXED REALITY RESEARCH LAB

  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • 3D Printing

WELCOME TO THE MIXED REALITY RESEARCH LAB

The Mixed Reality Research Lab has been set up to provide a space for researchers from a diverse range of different institutions, disciplines and backgrounds to perform research work in the applied use of mixed reality. Using technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D printing, academics and discipline experts work to develop visualisations and simulations that can be used to solve problems in areas as diverse as paramedic science, design science, computer science, and information systems. Below is a description of some of the technologies and projects currently undertaken in the mixed reality research lab; for further details on how these technologies are used, click the 'projects' link to read about specific projects in the area.

Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) refers to specifically designed virtual environments that the user can interface with in seemingly realistic ways through the use of explicitly designed visual, auditory, and haptic forms of technology. These heightened forms of experience provided by VR afford for learning through offering mimicry experiences of real life locations and events which allow for personal, self-paced exploration of subject matters usually only able to be explored through an observation of another’s experience or recount of a past experience. Virtual reality allows the user to partake in specifically tailored first-hand experiences (e.g. learning to fly a plane first-hand in a virtual reality simulator) which offer a mix of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic content, allowing for the support of learning regardless of the user’s preferred learning style.
Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) makes use of a virtual environment within which computer generated imagery is superimposed upon a real-time view of a physical environment, delivered via a live camera feed. Augmented Reality's main goal is to bring elements from the virtual world over into the real. This is predominantly facilitated through the use of physical markers within the physical environment, which are detected and tracked through the live video feed to imply where the digital content is to be rendered in three dimensional space; or through alternate tracking systems such as GPS which track the digital contents estimated physical position in relation to the user’s position and rotation in the physical environment.
3D Fabrication
3D fabrication is the process of conceptualisng, constructing, printing and assembling 3D objects. Objects for print are usually modelled from scratch through the use 3D modelling software, or converted from existing 3D formats. From these digital formats they are brought to life through a process called additive manufacturing, where the model is split horizontally into layers which are printed directly on top of each other using specifically designed filament.




PROJECTS

The Mixed Reality Research Lab conducts research work in a number of diverse areas. These projects are detailed below, and focus on the affordances provided by mixed reality in areas such as skills development, spatial design communication, and theoretical modelling.

Spatial Communication

communicating spatial design through virtual reality

Paramedics Skills

mixed reality laryngoscopy simulation

Anatomy Education

3d interactive anatomy ebook

Network Modeling

augmented reality networking simulation


SPATIAL COMMUNICATION

Description
Spatial visualisation skills and interpretations are critical in the design professions, but traditionally difficult to effectively communicate. The aim of this project is to study the impact that Higher Dimensional Media such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and 3d Printing can have within design and skills related pedagogies and stakeholder communication. Currently designers and reviewers are communicating complex spatial concepts through primarily 2d media which inherently requires development of the ability to mentally translate this media to 3d for discussion and back to 2d for feedback. However, with the integration of VR, AR, and 3d printing it is possible for all stakeholders to communicate in 3 or more dimensions, which more accurately represents the physical reality they work in. The goal is to guide the use of emerging comparative multimodal visualization as pedagogy through media properties, lesson sequencing, and reflection to inform effective instruction and learning thus shifting research away from whether technology, simulation or visualization affects learning and knowledge transfer. The question becomes how to translate this comparative pedagogy to other disciplines and industry practice.
Impact and Citations
Birt, J., Manyuru, P. & Nelson, J. (2017). Using virtual and augmented reality to study architectural lighting. In H. Partridge, K. Davis, & J. Thomas. (Eds.), Me, Us, IT! Proceedings ASCILITE2017:34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education (pp. 17-21). Available from: http://2017conference.ascilite.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Concise-BIRT.pdf

Cowling, M. & Birt, J. (2017). Visualising mixed reality simulation for multiple users. In H. Partridge, K. Davis, & J. Thomas. (Eds.), Me, Us, IT! Proceedings ASCILITE2017: 34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education (pp. 52-56). Available from: http://2017conference.ascilite.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Concise-COWLING.pdf

Birt, J. & Cowling, M. A. (2017). Towards future mixed reality learning spaces for STEAM education. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 25(4), 1.Available from: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/521/

Birt, J. & Spatial Media. (2017), Improving community awareness of infrastructure noise through mixed reality simulation, Advanced Queensland Knowledge Transfer Partnership Grant. Details available from: Advanced Queensland

Cowling, M., Tanenbaum, J., Birt, J., & Tanenbaum, K. (2016). Augmenting reality for augmented reality. interactions, 24(1), 42-45. Available from: ACM Digital Library

Birt, J., Nelson, J., & Hovorka, D. (2015). Towards a Pedagogy of Comparative Visualization in 3D Design Disciplines. In T. Reiners, B.R. von Konsky, D. Gibson, V. Chang, L. Irving, & K. Clarke (Eds.), Globally connected, digitally enabled. Proceedings Ascilite 2015 in Perth (pp. CP:32-CP:36). Available from: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/275/

Birt, J., Hovorka, D., & Nelson, J. (2015). Interdisciplinary Translation of Comparative Visualization. Proceedings of the 26th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, Adelaide, Australia, December 2015. Awarded ACPHIS Kit Dampney Best Education Paper Prize. Available from: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/276/

Birt, J. (2014). For improving student learning and engagement through practical juxtaposition of art and science in multi-media education. Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Australian Office for Learning and Teaching.

Birt, J. & Hovorka, D.S. (2014) Effect of mixed media visualization on learner perceptions, Proceedings of the 25th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, AUT, Auckland, New Zealand, December 2014. Available from: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/74/

Birt, J. (2014). Mixed media visualization effect on student perceptions and learning outcomes. In B. Hegarty, J. McDonald, & S.-K. Loke (Eds.), Rhetoric and Reality: Critical perspectives on educational technology. Proceedings Ascilite Dunedin 2014 (pp. 514-518). Available from: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/75/

Birt, J. (2012). Effective and engaging curriculum that challenges and motivates visual arts and design students in today's knowledge economy. In K. Wood, D. Knight, & S. Kinash (Eds.). Scholarship of Teaching and Learning @ Bond, Volume 2 (pp. 160-167). Gold Coast, Queensland: Office of Teaching and Learning, Bond University.




PARAMEDIC SKILLS

Description
Using paramedic science education and airways management as a case study, this project presents a learning intervention using mixed media visualisation (3D printing & Augmented Reality simulation) to enhance skills development for students studying through distance education. The aim of this research is to provide more hands-on skill practice to students, as well as increase overall skill acquisition and retention, focusing on Laryngoscopy with foreign body removal, answering the question “How does the use of 3D printing and augmented reality simulation affect skills development in paramedic science?”. The expected outcome of this work is a greater understanding of how 3D printing and augmented reality can assist with skills development and insight into whether these techniques can lead to better learning outcomes in distance education.
Impact and Citations
Birt, J., Moore, E., & Cowling, M. (2017). Improving paramedic distance education through mobile mixed reality simulation. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 33(6), 69-83. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.3596. Available from: https://ajet.org.au/index.php/AJET/article/view/3596/1493

Birt, J. & Rescue Swag. (2017), Smart First Aid - Leading the World in 1st Aid Innovation, Ignite Ideas Grant. Details available from: Advanced Queensland

Birt, J., Moore, E., & Cowling, M. A. (2017, April). Piloting mobile mixed reality simulation in paramedic distance education. In Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH), 2017 IEEE 5th International Conference on Health (pp. 1-8). IEEE. Available from: IEEE Xplore

Cowling, M., Moore, E., & Birt, J. (2015). Augmenting distance education skills development in paramedic science through mixed media visualisation. Paper presented at the combined 21st European Concurrent Engineering Conference, 11th Future Business Technology Conference, 19th Annual Euromedia Conference. 27-29 April, 2015. Lisbon, Portugal. Available from: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/115/

Cowling, M. A., Birt. J. & Moore, E. (2015, October) Using 3D Printed Tools and an Augmented Reality Smartphone App to Enhance Paramedic Skill Development. Poster session presented at Council of Ambulance Authorities Conference, Melbourne, Australia. Available from: Here

Moore, E., Cowling, M. A. & Birt. J. (2015, October) Improving Skill Development for Paramedics through Mixed Media Visualisation via 3D Printing and an Augmented Reality App. Poster session presented at Paramedics Australasia International Conference, Adelaide, Australia. Available from: Here

Moore, E., Cowling, M., & Birt, J. (2014, December) Exploring Possibilities in 3D Printing for Paramedic Science. Poster session presented at 4th ACU Simulation in Health Education Showcase, Brisbane, Queensland.
AR Markers
3D Prints
laryngoscopyar on google play
laryngoscopyar on app store

ANATOMY EDUCATION

3d interactive anatomy ebook

Description
This pilot study compared the use of an enriched multimedia eBook with traditional methods for teaching the gross anatomy of the heart and great vessels.Seventy-one first-year students from an Australian medical school participated in the study. Students' abilities were examined by pretest, intervention, and post-test measurements. Perceptions and attitudes toward eBook technology were examined by survey questions. Results indicated a strongly positive user experience coupled with increased marks; however, there were no statistically significant results for the eBook method of delivery alone outperforming the traditional anatomy practical session. Results did show a statistically significant difference in the final marks achieved based on the sequencing of the learning modalities. With initial interaction with the multimedia content followed by active experimentation in the anatomy lab, students' performance was improved in the final test. Obtained data support the role of eBook technology in modern anatomy curriculum being a useful adjunct to traditional methods. Further study is needed to investigate the importance of sequencing of teaching interventions.
Impact and Citations
Stirling, A., & Birt, J. (2014). An enriched multimedia eBook application to facilitate learning of anatomy. Anatomical sciences education, 7(1), 19-27. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ase.1373/abstract.

Stirling, A., & Birt, J. (2013). Getting to the HEART of Blended Learning. In Kinash, S., Knight, D. & Kordyban, R. (Eds.). Blended learning at Bond (pp.26-29). Office of Learning and Teaching, Bond University.




NETWORK MODELING

Description
Using networking education and the TCP/IP model as a case study, this project investigates the representation of theoretical concepts without a corresponding real world physical analog model and the simulation of complex multi-step processes in the classroom. The aim of this project is to present a method to assist students in theoretical model understanding and applied use. In particular, to address the problem that these models are not physical in our existence but rather logical models used to describe packet behaviour at the software and hardware level, answering the research questions: "How does 3D printing and augmented reality impact 21st century student learning in ICT networking courses?", "How does 3D printing and augmented reality affect learning for students from varied cultures?" and "How does 3D printing and augmented reality assist ICT networking students in visualising complex multi-step processes?"
Impact and Citations
Cowling, M. & Birt, J. (2016). Piloting mixed reality in ICT networking to visualize complex theoretical multi-step problems. In S. Barker, S. Dawson, A. Pardo, & C. Colvin (Eds.), Show Me The Learning. Proceedings ASCILITE 2016 Adelaide (pp. 163-168). Available from https://works.bepress.com/james_birt/24/

Cowling, M. & Birt, J. (2015). Teaching Complex Theoretical Multi-Step Problems in ICT Networking through 3D Printing and Augmented Reality. In T. Reiners, B.R. von Konsky, D. Gibson, V. Chang, L. Irving, & K. Clarke (Eds.), Globally connected, digitally enabled. Proceedings ascilite 2015 in Perth (pp. CP:62-CP:66). Awarded best concise paper award. Available from: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/274/
AR Markers
3D Prints
networking ar on google play
networking ar on app store

THE TEAM

The Mixed Reality Lab has a dedicated team of researchers
collaborating from varying fields of study and locations around Australia.

Dr James Birt

Assistant Professor,
Faculty of Society and Design,
Bond University

Dr Michael Cowling

Senior Lecturer,
School of Engineering and Technology,
Central Queensland University

Dr Allan Stirling

Associate Professor,
Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine,
Bond University


Jonathan Nelson

Assistant Professor,
Faculty of Society and Design,
Bond University

Emma Moore

Lecturer,
School of Medical & Applied Sciences,
Central Queensland University

Jeremy Orr

Research Assistant,
Faculty of Society and Design,
Bond University

Research Assistant,
School of Engineering and Technology,
Central Queensland University

Juan Carlos Munoz

PhD Candidate,
School of Engineering and Technology,
Central Queensland University

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

The Mixed Reality Lab works closely in collaboration with the following academic institutions.
We invest in research and development to ensure that our applications and outcomes are cutting edge and fit for purpose.

Bond University

14 University Drive,
Robina QLD 4226,
Australia

Central Queensland University

Bruce Highway,
North Rockhampton QLD 4702,
Australia

CONTACT

The Mixed Reality Research Lab is always looking for new disciplines and industries in which we can apply mixed reality to solve skills development, pedagody and education learning problems. If you'd like to work with us, or just have other questions about the lab and what we do, please contact us via email or phone and one of the team members will be in contact with you shortly.

Bond University
14 University Drive,
Robina QLD 4226,
Australia