Resource centre brings new virtual reality tech to Mackay
In a major coup for the Mackay region, "nationally significant" virtual reality technology will now be on hand for businesses to trial and integrate into their sphere.
The major technical leap will allow companies in the region to explore and test out how they can incorporate virtual reality into their workplaces.
Mackay's Resources Centre of Excellence has partnered with the Queensland University of Technology to design the virtual reality and augmented reality technology.
RCOE general manager Steven Boxall said this was something industry did not have access to previously.
"Everyone hears of VR and AR and how it can be used in the industry, but for a lot of businesses, they don't have the time or money to develop the software then acquire the hardware to be able to implement that sort of training in their business," Mr Boxall said.
"With this investment, it now enables people within our region who would like to have some sort of involvement with VR or AR in their business to very cheaply and easily use our facility and tap into the system that QUT has designed for us.
"It's of national significance because there's a lot of different VR systems out there that have been developed by gaming organisations, whereas QUT has developed this from a research perspective."
The key difference in the technology is its ability for multiple people to use it at one time and with ease.
QUT senior software developer Allan James said businesses across a range industries could use VR to learn about new pieces of equipment or processes in a safe environment.
"Getting what we do into a business-as-usual setting isn't easy. It takes a lot of investment, it's usually quite risky with equipment that you don't know about," Mr James said.
"If businesses want to explore it, they can come here and test it out.
"You can have a trainee and a trainer in the same VR world looking at the same piece of equipment."
The centre will open its LBF Collaboration Station on Wednesday - including the launch of the Enabling Future Works Skills Development Project.
QUT has developed the VR technology for the RCOE as a result of this project.