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Deakin University to Bring AR to Classrooms

In summary

Deakin University introduces Augmented Reality to the classroom with the first efforts to be trialled in the med school. They will trial it to enable students to interact with vital organs. With ambitious plans to expand this to the classroom, they also plan to launch a Masters in AR as well.

June 21, 2016

Written by: Emma Boyle

Deakin University to Bring AR to Classrooms

Medicine and engineering classes will be first to access to the technology.

Recently it’s appeared that augmented reality (AR) is gaining popularity as a professional platform, with Visa testing it as a brand new e-commerce solution and engineering giant Aecom piloting a project that will see the technology used in their construction projects across three continents. Now, it’s academia’s turn with Deakin University in Australia announcing that it plans to use the technology as a teaching tool in its medicine and engineering classrooms.

As reported by ITNews, AR technology will be introduced to Deakin University’s classes from December, with the first AR apps to be used during the university’s summer programme which runs from November to March, before the technology is distributed more widely in the first semester of 2017.

In medicine classes, the tech will be used to will be used to superimpose images of vital organs on a compatible smartphone and tablet. Students will then be able to interact with the image and view a moving cross section of the organs by rotating the device.

Deakin University has clearly been working on introducing this technology for a while, since as early as 2014 the university’s digital future lab trailed a multi-lingual AR app at a Burwood open day. After this trial the university signed a partnership with US firm EON Reality with the intention of further developing the technology and an immersive reality research centre will be opening in the Melbourne CBD later this year.

The university will also be the first in Australia to offer a graduate diploma of virtual and augmented reality from July, and it will also introduce a master of information technology course next year.

According to Deakin chief digital officer William Confalonieri, universities looking to deploy immersive technologies need to be aware of what parts of their investment are short-term and long term.

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“Because it’s quite a new discipline, you don’t have the templates, frameworks and the mental mould to do things for the first time,” Confalonieri said. “Standards are another big issue. There are not established standards, so if you need to invest in immersive reality content management systems, you will need to speculate about the life of those standards and how much you’re willing to invest in something that could be completely different next year.”

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