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XR @ QUT: Case Studies

[Please note: some links on this page are QUT Staff only]

XR technologies are already being used in a variety of teaching and research applications at QUT. Many have featured in QUT's Real World Learning Fora

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Spatial Pathways - Choreography Goes Virtual

Equipment: Oculus Quest headsets

Content: TiltBrush

Contact: Avril Huddy

KDB317 Choreographic Project 2 is the capstone choreographic unit for BFA (Dance Performance) students.

  • Throughout the unit, students hone their individual creative methodologies, documentation practices, collaborative skills, and interdisciplinary approaches while working toward a presentation outcome. Students explored dance 'scores', spatial pathways and alternate processes for movement generation using Virtual Reality technology.
  • The app of choice was TiltBrush, an art-making programme which is used by kids as well as professional VR artists such as Rosie Summers and Anna Dreambrush. However, this might be the first time that TiltBrush has been used for exploring choreographic practice.
  • The untethered all-in-one Oculus Quest headsets allowed the students to move freely around the whole space of the dance studio, rolling, tumbling, twisting, jumping, sliding - immersed in the movement.

  • Students worked with pre-created 'scores' - working collaboratively to guide each other, reflect and explore their 3-D environments.
  • This creative process was layered and multifaceted with each student within a team adopting in turn on of three roles - as the dancer creating movement in response to the TiltBrush 'score'; as the recorder, filming [documenting] the dancer as they moved; and as the critically engaged observer.
  • This process was then repeated, this time with students using TiltBrush to create 'scores' for each other to respond to - experiencing the movement of mark-making in an immersive, truly embodied way.
  • The resulting artifacts - the 'scores', the video documentations - were utilised by both students and lecturer as research, feedback and reflective and creative tools and were integrated into follow-up workshop activities.

Student feedback was positive:

"I was able to enter a world of new choreographic explorations and possibilities. By interacting with particular shapes, lines, or patterns placed before me it made me tap out of my conscious mind of worrying about aesthetic and actually explore movement pathways in my subconscious mind."

"Discovering and building new movement pathways, expanding my movement vocabulary, three-dimensional visual experience of pathways and floor pattern, rather than a ‘flat’ pattern on paper (2D), real-time sensory experience, bodily and visual experience of stimulus that would otherwise be imagined or visualised."

Creativity in Digital 3D: CI Creative Futures

Virtual Reality (VR) offers exciting opportunities for designers, including those working within the transportation design sector. High-end VR design solutions are now easily accessible to individuals.

Equipment: Oculus Rift S and Alienware laptop / Oculus Quest / Smartphone

Content: Google TiltBrush / Wallame / Just a Line / Thinglink

Contact: Dr. Sarah Winter

Student in VR headset, gesturing with VR hand controllerMan in VR headset crouches on the ground, gesturing with handheld controller. Another young female student watches on.

  • KKB180 Creative Futures asks students to “investigate creative career possibilities and the future of creativity.”
  • After this new unit's first semester, feedback indicated students wanted more hands-on experience and opportunities to experiment with examples of the emerging technologies they were learning about.
  • Workshops introduced students to 3D painting VR app TiltBrush, using the QUT Library's Oculus Rift S VR equipment.
  • Students were also introduced to free AR apps Wallame and Just a line, to create notes and designs for others to find in AR.
  • Using Thinglink and 360 images of the local environment, students could embed additional content to create a web-based, interactive artifact.
  • Students were asked to reflect upon the potential of AR and VR in their future creative careers.
  • See more on the LTU Sharepoint blog

Augmented Reality for Paramedics

Equipment: Smartphone / Merge Cube/ BYOD headsets optional

Content: Custom-made 3D animation based on photogrammetry of a birthing mannequin.

Contact: Dr. Shonel Hall, Dr. Scott Devenish, Dr. Ruari Elkington

Funding: Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Grant: Developing Merge Cube augmented reality applications across Creative Industries & Health [QUT Ethics Approval Number 1800000361].

Students at desk working with smartphones, AR cubes and task sheetsPhone held in front of a black cube covered in decorative lines. Screen shows phone camera view, where an animation of woman giving birth appears where the cube should be.

  • A world first in terms of simulating birth through a training aid hologram!  
  • The Birth Mannequin for Merge Cube is an augmented reality simulation of a spontaneous vaginal birth.  
  • Used in CSB339 Paramedic Management of Lifespan Emergencies with potential to be introduced to first year students in CSB332 Foundations of Paramedic Practice 2 .
  • The objectives were to increase students’ familiarity with the birth process, understanding of the mechanisms of birth as well as helping to dispel any fear associated with out-of-hospital-births, through desensitisation and simulation.  
  • Students have enjoyed the Merge Cube as an adjunct to learning, simulation and face to face teaching. It is also a great revision tool as the Merge Cube can be purchased inexpensively, or you can create 2D and 3D paper versions of the code on the Cube’s face for the price of a printed piece of paper! Students simply need to BYOD [Bring Your Own Device].
  • The Cube can be held in the hand under the phone's camera, or the phone can be mounted in a portable headset, such as the QUT Library's class sets of Voxkin and Merge headsets.
  • See the animation here: [content warning: simulated birth].
  • More on the development of this project on the QUT Research Augmented Reality website.

QUT Shows VR at Westech 2021

Equipment: Oculus Quest headsets

Content: Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant 360 Virtual Tour, Fruit Ninja

Contacts: Professor Ian O'Hara, Associate Professor Mark Harrison and Associate Professor Jennifer Clifton

  • Six QUT staff from  joined the Barcaldine regional community at the Triennial Westech Field Days from 7-8 September 2021.
  • QUT and Barcaldine Regional Council signed a collaboration Memorandum of Understanding in November 2020 and participation in the field days was an outcome under the agreement.
  • One of the most popular displays was our demonstration of the work we are doing at the Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant, through virtual reality.
  • Visitors across all ages were able to experience and learn about the production of biofuels through a 360 degree video experience tour of the QUT research facility.
  • For most of the participants, this was their first experience using VR technology.


  • The technology could be used to improve efficiency in agricultural education and training in particular [at 0.49s].
  • Participants commented that VR could be a way of improving training in agriculture where skill shortages are acute.
  • It could also be used to tell stories of life and work in western Queensland.



A Field Trip to Mackay Without Leaving Your Seat: Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant

Equipment:  Voxkin & Merge headsets / Smartphone

Content: Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant 360 Virtual Tour

Contact: Professor Rob Speight [SEF], Helen Lauder [eMedia Production and Support], Kate Nixon [Learning Technologies Adoption Lead, Digital Learning Portfolio]

When you can't take students to Mackay, bring Mackay to the students!



Pitching Architectural Designs with VR Renders: Masters of Architecture

Equipment: Oculus Rift S and Alienware laptop 

Contact: Dr. Aso Hajirasouli

Man in VR headset, with 3 students gathered around4 men watching a powerpoint presentation

  • As part of their studio unit, Masters of Archtecture students presented their design concepts to industry partner South Bank Corporation in VR, instead of the standard physical model.
  • The client was able to walk through a full scale model of the design, using the QUT Library's Oculus Rift S equipment.

Practicing Presentation Skills with Virtual Speech @ QUT College

Equipment: Smartphone / Voxkin & Merge headsets 

Content: Virtual Speech

Contact: Jake Fox

                                                 undefined           undefined

  • In KCD103 Strategic Speech Communication VR is offered to students in practical workshops in preparation for end of semester presentations.
  • Virtual Speech puts users into photorealistic presentation environments, such as a workplace meeting, job interview or seminar room.
  • The program monitors speaking pace, hesitation words, eye contact, and other metrics for feedback and improvement. 
  • It provides a realistic but low-pressure practice environment for students to get accustomed to presenting to groups.
  • In workshops, students pair up to help each other load their presentation into the Virtual Speech app.
  • Students used the QUT Library's class sets of Voxkin and Merge headsets, into which they mounted their phones.
  • Virtual Speech gives students data on their presentation, so they can work on improving their scores.
  • View Jake's Presentation from the 2019 QUT VR Showcase [QUT staff only].

Gravity Sketch and the Future of Transportation

Equipment: Oculus Quest headsets

Content: Gravity Sketch

Contact: Andrew Scott, Dr Tim Williams

Virtual Reality (VR) offers exciting opportunities for designers, including those working within the transportation design sector. High-end VR design solutions are now easily accessible to individuals. These powerful and affordable hardware and software options promise to make VR design practices an ubiquitous part of the industry. QUT Industrial Design academics Andrew Scott, Dr Tim Williams and research assistant and tutor Andrew Peterson introduced the future of the industry to students in 2021.

Designing with Gravity Sketch enables students to experience their vehicle concept literally from the inside and at full size, where they can evaluate their vehicle idea early and easily - a truly immersive experience.

Through Gravity Sketch, students can:

  • Experience the vehicle from inside
  • Work at 1:1 scale on large objects
  • Glimpse the future of computer-assisted Industrial Design
  • Enjoy the experience of digital immersion


DNB214 and DNB314 Tutor, Andrew Peterson, demonstrates Gravity Sketch and designing with Virtual Reality.

This pilot project has shown us that the future for VR in the design studio looks strong. Offering our design students access to this exciting technology will soon become a standard, if not essential, point of difference for the design studio experience and Industrial Design course in general.

Subjects: Creative industries / Animation, Creative industries / Interaction design and visual communication