Technology experts from defence, mining, medicine and educational fields gathered in Canberra to kick of a two-day CSIRO expo showcasing the best in virtual and augmented reality.
Affordability and access are not longer barriers for regular consumers to enjoy these high-fidelity, immersive experiences. And Australian industries are feeling a pressure to get their heads around how to harness VR for day-to-day use.
CSIRO 3D visualisation engineer Craig James said VR and AR were "here and now technologies" and while they were cool and fun, their true potential lay in clever industry application.
"At this stage we have remote technology to have a conversation with a doctor in another place," he said.
"If you have access to medical information, say an ultrasound or 3D ultrasound, with AR the doctor could overlay that, say over the image of a patient's knee, and see what is going on more effectively."
CSIRO are holding 11 workshops across the the eastern seaboard to rally together experts and share ideas about potential industry uses.
One headset used at the expo closed out users surroundings and transported them to the deck of the RV Investigator research vessel.
But in recent years there has bee huge investment in integrating a users field of view into the experience such as with Microsoft Hololens.
Mr James said haptics, being able to receive tactile or sensory feedback through the technology, was the next frontier.
"We are all so ruled by our senses. VR has the visual and aural but the kinesthetic, touch side of it is lagging a bit," he said.
"This is going to be excellent for training but also industrial design, where you create something and you want to be able to touch and feel it to make sure the shape is correct."
Director of defence capability management company Clearz, Andrew Cleary, said VR simulations would be the future of training.
"It gives the chance for almost real-life training outside of that very expensive environment," he said.
Kids play these rich games and they are almost expecting this sort of stuff when they get into the workforce now yet they are confronted with books of numbers. I think we need have got to start looking and how we engage because we know if you can give people a really immersive experience they learn better."
Check out what it's like to use the Microsoft Hololens in the video below.
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