Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two new technologies that are rapidly evolving and are increasingly being integrated into our daily lives. While people most often associate VR with video games, it actually has many more applications. Surgeons and dentists are using VR and AR to train before they work on living patients. Artists, designers and architects utilise VR to create entirely new environments. Firefighters and other emergency first responders train with VR, helping them deal with high-pressure, real-world situations. VR is also being used to support people with autism to improve social skills and people with PTSD to manage anxiety.
This term, the Creative Industries (CI) department added two new VR headsets to our student resources. The new Oculus Quest headsets lets students experience VR without wires and being hooked to a computer, for maximum freedom of movement.
We have introduced this technology into the CI department in a number of ways this term:
- Product Design: Year 11 Senior Design & Technology students studied VR as emerging technology and considered VR Chat as a tool for people with disabilities to communicate and VR training for rehabilitating prisoners. Students were able to test the technology they analysed in the case studies.
- Visual Art: Year 9 and 10 Visual Arts students have been experimenting with street and graffiti art, using realistic spray cans, nozzles and on a variety of surfaces to experience working on large scale mural pieces in Virtual Reality. We hope to expand upon this next year as the students do an investigation into Banksy and urban art.
- Information Technology: Year 9 and 11 students have worked using Unity, a professional-grade games development platform, to code and create interactive 2D and 3D games. Next year, we plan to integrate VR with Unity to create immersive, interactive virtual environments that can be experienced using the VR headsets.
Christina Carini | Head of Creative Industries