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University of Pretoria Unveils Ground-breaking Immersive Technology Laboratory

Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) is proud to announce the launch of its new Immersive Technology Lab at the Department of Information Science. This cutting-edge facility marks a significant milestone in the university’s journey towards integrating advanced immersive technologies into its curriculum and research initiatives.

The Immersive Technology Lab has its roots in the early integration of Virtual Reality (VR) technology within the department dating back to 2013. The acquisition of early VR headsets allowed Honours students to immerse themselves in the forefront of technological innovation. As the appeal of VR grew, the lab evolved into the Virtual Reality and Interaction (VRI) Lab, formally inaugurated in February 2018, to accommodate a larger cohort of students.

The VRI Lab has been instrumental in familiarizing BIS Multimedia students with virtual reality equipment, enabling them to develop applications that leverage the immersive capabilities of this technology initiative has ensured that students are equipped with essential skills to meet the growing demand for immersive technology expertise across various sectors.

In recent years, the lab has played a crucial role in both the BIS Multimedia Honours and Masters programs, with students achieving remarkable success in conceptualizing high-calibre VR research applications and games.

The lab’s infrastructure has also supported Masters students in developing bespoke applications for their studies, showcasing the transformative potential of immersive technology in academic research.

The inauguration of the Immersive Technology Lab in 2024 represents an evolution from the VRI Lab, extending access to immersive technology to the wider university community.

The lab serves multiple purposes: introducing staff and students to immersive technology, providing a platform for students to develop immersive experiences, investigating the integration of immersive technology into pedagogy, and fostering transdisciplinary collaboration. The Immersive Technology Lab stands as a testament to the Faculty’s commitment to innovation and academic excellence.

It is poised to chart new frontiers in education, research, and societal impact through immersive technology.

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