Exploring space with Swinburne's SciVr


Swinburne Sarawak’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, Professor John Wilson speaking during the ‘SciVR’ outreach programme at Swinburne Sarawak on August 12th.

Swinburne University of Technology made exploring the space, learning of our solar system possible through virtual reality (VR). Virtual Reality is an artificial environment or three-dimensional images generated by computer that can be interacted physically by an individual using electronic equipment, seemingly like a reality to the person who is experiencing it. 

In conjunction with the National Science Week Australia, Swinburne Sarawak campus organised the programme introducing its visitors to the astronomical world using virtual reality on August 12th. Using the "SciVr" app and a complementary custom made virtual reality cardboard glasses given to each visitor, the whole event will also be accompanied and guided by Professor Alan Duffy, computational astrophysicist and Dr Rebecca Allen who completed her PhD in astrophysics at Swinburne University of Technology, with livestreaming throughout whole event in Swinburne Sarawak. On the other hand, a same event was held concurrently in University College of Technology Sarawak, Sibu by Swinburne’s collaborators, Petrosains Playsmart Kuching and Tegas Digital Innovation Hub who made all these events possible. The "SciVr" app was developed with purpuse of serving as an educational platform as goal in mind, fitting the teaching model as it is not a stand alone; rather, it needs a guide to navigate allowing the user to enjoy exploring the wonder of the universe.

The event was deemed successful and proved to be fascinating and attrative as it's attended by variety of people including students, parents and childrens. It is suitable and a wonderful experience for all ages as the audience only had to insert their handphones into the VR glasses, making learning and exploring interative and informative. 

As for the future of ‘SciVR’ in Malaysia, Swinburne, Kuching is looking forward to allowing the application to be used as a educational material. “We want to take it out to schools, show the students and make them curious so that they will look for information,” said Professor John Wilson, Swinburne Sarawak’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.