Students at Brisbane-based Griffith University's School of Pharmacy and Toxicology are using wearable augmented reality software - and donning smart glasses - to immerse themselves in modern-day workplace scenarios and get 'life-like' instruction.
Dr Gary Grant, who leads the department, told CIO Australia the smartglass technology exposes students to countless workplaces scenarios, a situation not typically possible under normal teaching environments.
“We’re principally in that mixed reality space. We go from virtual reality to augmented reality to mixed reality. We collect panoramic imagery of the healthcare sector and that includes trying to capture the entire journey of a patient through healthcare in high resolution imagery,” he explained.
“That then is presented to our students as an orientation exercise, and we do that in a couple of modes: in large screen projection, but we also immerse them within that environment using Epson BT-300 smart glasses.”
Epson Australia recently launched the third generation of its Moverio smart glasses for augmented reality. The technology uses silicon-based OLED (organic light emitting diode) digital display technology, which provides transparent mobile augmented reality (AR) experiences, the company said.
At Griffith, Grant said the technology lets students sit inside the treatment room of an emergency department.
“They are looking at that environment, familiarising themselves with the workflow in that environment and the product that exists that relates to the particular discipline of practice. And we really need high resolution imagery to be able to do that. You don’t get the same degree of resolution from other devices.”
Indeed, smart glass technology is becoming more mainstream and key to a wide variety of consumer, commercial and government uses including flying drones, aerial photography and videography, medical surgery, VR learning, AR learning, emergency services response and rescue operations.
Globally, smart glasses are also being used for urban planning, real estate, architecture, engineering, security, media, agriculture management and recreation including gaming, watching movies and AR tours at museums and galleries.
Certainly, the university is no stranger to wearable augmented reality technology Grant said, explaining this isn’t the department’s first foray into smart glass territory. “We’ve been collecting the imagery for three years now,” he said, explaining the university was an early adopter of the BT-200 smart glasses.
“It is just one of those very practical tools to be able to put into the hands of the student without the need for too much familiarisation. But also we're not really worried about the use of those devices because they are not colluded from the environment. They are still engaged with the educator as well as the surroundings that they are in.”
Another application of the technology, he noted, is the use of augmented reality in assisted counseling.
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