William Canavan, explores virtual reality at the 2019 ConocoPhillips Science Experience event.
William Canavan, explores virtual reality at the 2019 ConocoPhillips Science Experience event. Meg Bolton

Students find new realities with one swift move

IF William Canavan's dreams come true he could be the first wave of engineers who walk through a building before it's built - thanks to virtual reality.

With just two remotes and a headset, William was just one of about 30 students who trialled the technology at the 2019 ConocoPhillips Science Experience event at CQUniversity's North Rockhampton campus yesterday.

While The Catheral College year nine student planned on becoming an engineer, he used the day to gain an insight into several fields of study.

"It's a good opportunity,” William said.

Using virtual reality technology was fast becoming standard practice at the university, with the recent installation of VR laboratory.

Virtual Reality developer Jamie Aisthorpe said the technology had a variety of uses including education, presentations and development assessment.

"It's making something complex and making it digestible,” Mr Aisthorpe said.

"In human anatomy you can strip a human heart without having to pull it apart.

"(In construction)If engineers can go into their model before they put it in and they can identify issues and potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars - they can troubleshoot on the fly.”

The technology allows users to immerse themselves in a situation allowing them to get up close and personal in their field of interest.

At CQU, virtual reality was also used to walk stakeholders through new developments.

Mr Aisthorpe said the technology was also extremely beneficial to students.

"It's giving an environment when they can fail but there's no consequence,” he said.

"It's an environment when they can experiment and explore.”

Program director Desley Pidgeon said virtual reality created endless opportunities for schools.

"If the school has limited resources you can do things like teach electricity with VR and it doesn't matter where they are in the world they wont miss out,” Mrs Pidgeon.

Mrs Pidgeon said using virtual reality was the future.