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 or check out the latest technology and design news on interactive mixed reality and design on flipboard.


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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 and ICT Modeling

augmented reality networking simulation


SPATIAL COMMUNICATION

Description
Spatial visualisation skills and interpretations are critical, 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 stakeholder communication, design and skills related pedagogies. 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.
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). http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/531/

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). http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/532/

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. 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. (2017). Augmenting reality for augmented reality. interactions, 24(1), 42-45. https://doi.org/10.1145/3019008

Birt, J., & Cowling. M. A. (2016). Mixed reality in higher education:Pedagogy before technology. Research workshop presented at ALASO 2016: Australian Learning Analytics Summer Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide. http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/438/

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). 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. 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 and outcomes, Proceedings of the 25th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, AUT, Auckland, New Zealand, December 2014. 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).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 first aid training and paramedic science education as a case study, this project presents learning interventions using mixed reality visualisation (3D printing, virtual reality & augmented reality simulation) to enhance skills development for learners. The aim of this research is to provide more hands-on skill practice to students, as well as increase overall skill acquisition and retention by answering the question “How does the use of mixed reality affect skills development in learners?”. The expected outcome of this work is a greater understanding of how mixed reality can assist with skills development and insight into whether these techniques can lead to better learning outcomes in distance and face to face education.
Impact and Citations
Moore, E., Cowling, M. A., & Birt, J. (2018). Using virtual reality to make paramedic practice more real. In Fleming, J., & Tickner, R. (Eds.). Good Practice Guide at CQUniversity (pg.9). Office of Learning and Teaching Services, CQUniversity.

Cowling, M. A. & Birt, J. (2018). Pedagogy before technology:A design-based research approach to enhancing skills development in paramedic science using mixed reality. Information, 9(2), 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/info9020029

Birt, J., Moore, E., & Cowling, M. A. (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

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 Xplore. https://doi.org/10.1109/SeGAH.2017.7939270

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. 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: 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: 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
New accessible learning methods delivered through mobile and mixed reality are becoming possible in education, shifting pedagogy from the use of two dimensional images and videos to facilitating learning via interactive mobile environments. This is especially important in medical and health education, where the required knowledge acquisition is typically much more experiential, self-directed, and hands-on than in many other disciplines. Presented are insights obtained from the implementation and testing of mixed reality technology in anatomy and physiology classrooms. With the aim to explore how interactions with these devices assist in the spatial learning and knowledge transfer in health sciences and medicine.
Impact and Citations
Kuehn, B. M. (2018, February) Virtual and Augmented Reality Put a Twist on Medical Education. Featured Article in JAMA - Interactive Anatomy. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2017.20800

Birt, J., Stromberga, Z., Cowling, M. & Moro, C. (2018). Mobile mixed reality for experiential learning and simulation in medical and health sciences education. Information, 9(2), 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/info9020031

Moro, C., Stromberga, Z., & Stirling, A. (2017). Virtualisation devices for student learning: Comparison between desktop-based (Oculus Rift) and mobile-based (Gear VR) virtual reality in medical and health science education. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 33(6), 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.14742/ajet.3840

Moro, C., Stromberga, Z., Raikos, A., & Stirling, A. (2017). The effectiveness of virtual and augmented reality in health science and medical anatomy. Anatomical Sciences Education, 10(6), 549-599. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ase.1696

Moro, C., Stromberga, Z., Raikos, A., & Stirling, A. (2016). Combining virtual (Oculus Rift & Gear VR) and augmented reality with interactive applications to enhance tertiary medical and biomedical curricula. In SA 2016 - SIGGRAPH ASIA 2016 Symposium on Education: Talks [2993364] Association for Computing Machinery. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2993363.2993364

Stromberga, Z., Raikos, A., Stirling, A., & Moro, C. (2016). Utilising Virtual and Augmented Reality to enhance medical and healthcare education. Poster session presented at 55th Australian Society for Medical Research National Scientific Conference, Gold Coast, Australia. http://asmr-nsc.p.asnevents.com.au/days/2016-11-13/abstract/40037

Stirling, A., & Birt, J. (2014). An enriched multimedia eBook application to facilitate learning of anatomy. Anatomical Sciences Education, 7(1), 19-27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ase.1373

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 AND ICT MODELING

Description
The aim of this project is to present a mixed reality visualisation method to assist learners with theoretical model understanding and applied use in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education. In particular, to address the problem that often system models are not physical in our existence but rather logical models used to describe behaviour at the software and hardware level. This can often be dificult for novice learners to understand and communicate. Using ICT Systems Analysis Design and network TCP/IP modeling as case studies, this project looks to answering the research questions: "How does mixed reality impact 21st century student learning system models in ICT courses?".
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).http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/440/

Munoz, J.C., Cowling, M., & Birt, J. (2016). Using gamification and mixed reality visualization to improve conceptual understanding in ICT system analysis and design. In S. Barker, S. Dawson, A. Pardo, & C. Colvin (Eds.), Show Me The Learning. Proceedings ASCILITE 2016 Adelaide (pp. 455-460). http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/439/

Munoz, J.C., Cowling, M., & Birt, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Augmented Reality instruction in teaching ICT Systems Design, Australian Higher Education Conference Canberra. Available: Here

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. http://epublications.bond.edu.au/fsd_papers/274/

Munoz, J.C., Cowling, M., & Birt, J. (2015). Pedagogy enabled through technology: using augmented reality effectively through mobile devices in the ICT learning environment, Poster session presented at IEEE Queensland Section 30 Years Celebration PhD Poster Conference, Brisbane, Australia. Available: Here
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 Christian Moro

Assistant Professor,
Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine,
Bond 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


Zane Stromberga

PhD Candidate,
Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine,
Bond University

Juan Carlos Munoz

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

Jeremy Orr

Research Assistant,
Bond University,
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