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Curtin virtual reality research opens up new worlds at XR:WA 

Media release

Curtin University researchers will demonstrate the enormous potential of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to open up interactive virtual worlds that explore a huge range of important and innovative applications, as part of the new XR:WA festival and conference.

XR:WA Director Richard Sowada, WA Minister for Culture and the Arts, the Hon David Templeman MLA, Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Humanities, Professor Alan Dench and Curtin HIVE Manager Dr Andrew Woods at the the XR:WA conference launch.

As part of the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, XR:WA will showcase locally produced immersive and games content via a series of exhibitions, workshops, speakers, master-classes, screenings and experiences across Perth, including at the Curtin HIVE (Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch).

The Curtin HIVE hosted the XR:WA conference launch last night for conference delegates and invited guests.

Curtin HIVE Manager Dr Andrew Woods said the conference launch showcased displays and interactive experiences led by Curtin researchers using VR and other immersive technology.

“As part of XR:WA, I will outline the use of photogrammetric 3D reconstruction to virtually explore shipwreck sites,” Dr Woods said.

“We have digitally reconstructed the wreck of Australia’s first submarine HMAS AE1 using about 8500 still images captured during an archaeological survey expedition last year, in an effort to gain a better understanding of the submarine’s fate.

“The wreck is now able to be explored via a digital 3D model that is able to be rotated to be viewed from any angle, providing the first ‘whole-look’ view of the vessel as it currently lies on the sea floor.”

At the XR:WA conference being held at the Pan Pacific Hotel from July 12 to 14, Curtin academics, including Dr Woods, will present a range of technical content.

Dr Stuart Bender, from Curtin’s School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry (MCASI), will present on VR360 production and how academia and industry can benefit each other in the area of VR. Dr Kath Dooley, also from MCASI, will also present on approaches to the writing, conceptualisation and development of short narrative cinematic VR projects.

Dr Bender said academic research methods provided fantastic opportunities for commercial VR content creators to have their work rigorously tested.

“I will present examples of industry and academic collaborations that have created virtual reality content and led to meaningful outcomes in the commercial sector,” Dr Bender said.

“These collaborations also enable researchers to push the medium of virtual reality forward by developing theory that is based on research with real-world content.”

For more information about XR:WA and the wide range of events available, visit:

For more information about the Curtin HIVE, visit: