The rapid pace of global change is driving many new social, economic, and environmental challenges. Research at the University of South Australia has been positioned around key industries to ensure we can deliver innovative and sustainable solutions that respond to the most pressing needs of our world.

In the short videos, IVE members explain their research and how we engage with industry, collaborate with other academic institutions, and provide world-class education.  Details about the research capabilities within each of our labs have also be detailed below.

To find out how we can assist your organisation, please contact IVECentre@unisa.edu.au. 

 

Learn more about our research capabilities

UniSA Video

Members of the Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE) discuss how IVE is achieving impactful outcomes through world-leading research, using cutting-edge technology to solve real-world problems, and educating the next generation of global leaders.

UniSA Video

Overview of how IVE is addressing health issues using virtual reality and interactive technologies.

UniSA Video

"I get into these discussions with people who don't understand the concept of scientists and they say 'scientists think they know all the answers', and I like saying 'no, if you talk to any scientist, the whole point of science is that they don't know any'. Once all the questions have been answered then there's no more science." 

UniSA Video

Professor Mark Billinghurst, Deputy Director of IVE and Leader of the Empathic Computing Lab, explains how empathic computing enhances and changes the way we communicate, creating systems that improve the understanding between people, enhancing natural collaboration, experience capture, and implicit comprehension.

UniSA Video

Hear how researchers in the Creative Computing Studio are employing creative thinking and practices to enhance people’s experiences of art by applying state-of-the-art digital technologies to create new artworks.

UniSA Video

Overview of Vernacular Knowledge Research within IVE

UniSA Video

Professor Ning Gu, Deputy Director of IVE and Leader of the Building and Urban Informatics Group, provides an overview of the research directions of the Group.  He explains how computational design and visualisation technologies are being applied to advance research and practice in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) domains.

UniSA Video

Dr Peter Schumacher, Leader of the Human Centred Design Group within IVE, explains human-centred design and how this research is being applied to developing complex confined human environments for high-intensity activities.

UniSA Video

There is a growing trend of collaborative healthcare projects that involve designers working with care providers to help create better services, products, and experiences for patients. In this Enterprising Research Talk, Professor Ian Gwilt discusses the role that design and new technologies such as augmented reality can play within a broader societal context of people’s health and wellbeing.

Discover our labs

The Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments (IVE) at the University of South Australia (UniSA) is the largest concentrations of Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality researchers in Australia and provides various resources and facilities for Mixed Reality research and development. IVE not only has over 130 researchers and the latest cutting-edge research facilities but also has close collaboration with various research groups and companies across Australia and around the world, especially in the Australasian region through the ARIVE research network.

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    Building and Urban Informatics

    Building the future of architecture, construction and planning design

    The Building and Urban Informatics Group undertakes hybrid and collaborative research exploring computational and simulation systems across the disciplines of architecture, construction, and urban and regional planning. The group employs state-of-the-art facilities and methods for conducting computational visualisation, analysis, fabrication, and collaboration research, supporting contemporary design, building, and planning studies.

    The group employs advanced tools and approaches for simulation, computational design, planning and analysis, information management and collaboration, and prototyping and fabrication, which supports a wide range of research projects in design, building, and urban and regional planning. The advanced facilities and innovative techniques include virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, including the immersive Hyve-3D collaborative design environment, urban analytics utilising big data and GIS, digital prototyping, 3D printing and fabrication, and more. These systems are applied in research in areas such as:

    • architectural style and design culture
    • building, construction, and waste project management
    • collaborative practices in the housing sector
    • design cognition
    • digital and virtual heritage
    • environmental and social sustainability
    • smart cities and urban information management
    • transport and infrastructure planning
    • virtual architecture and Metaverse

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    The group is currently comprised of researchers and higher degree by research students and assistants, whose projects have been generously supported by major funding agencies, including the Australian Research Council, Department of Education and Training, Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation, and Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.

    Members

    Leader

    Academic Staff

    Postgraduate Students

    • Arsham Bassiri Abyaneh
    • Bashar Almosuli
    • Victor Calixto
    • Gabriela Dias Guimaraes
    • Ayaz Khan
    • Shaila Maheshwari
    • Elita Nuraeny
    • Madeleine Parkyn
    • Rasoul Rafat
    • Dulini Rathnayake Mudiyanselage
    • Lipon Saha
    • Reshma Shrestha
    • Adii Shtykov
    • Zhaohong Sun
    • Raziyeh Teimouri
    • Chathuri Widanalage
    • Trevor White
    • Natale Zappia

    Adjunct Members

    Affiliate Members

    External Members

    • Professor Ali Soltani 

     

     

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    Cognitive Neuroscience

    The Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (CNL) conducts state-of-the-art research into the neurobiological underpinnings of cognition

    We specialise in studying cognition and performance not just in the lab but also under real-world conditions. Our main areas of research include:

    • language
    • memory
    • the effects of sleep on cognition
    • human performance in complex environments

    We collaborate with other laboratories in IVE and external partners to examine real-time measures of cognitive workload in a variety of interactive and virtual environments. The CNL is located in a dedicated research facility at the UniSA Magill campus. We have the capability to run experiments using:

    • Electroencephalography (EEG), allowing for a range of data collection methods including ultra-mobile, high density, and hyper scanning (concurrent EEG measures from multiple individuals)
    • Eye-tracking
    • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
    • Physiological measures such as skin conductance and heart rate
    • Various behavioural methods

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    Members

    Leader

    Academic Staff

    Postgraduate Students

    • Hayley Caldwell
    • Chloe Dziego
    • Matthew Hendrickx
    • Sophie Jano
    • Ashley Platt
    • Kate Riggall
    • Daniel Rogers
    • Isabella Sharrad
    • Thinvina Thanabalan
    • Li Zou

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    Creative Computing Studio

    Supporting research projects at the nexus of the creative arts, design and human computer interaction

    The Creative Computing Studio - CCS - features multi-modal interaction facilities, including Optitrack 12 camera full-body motion capture, Kinect Azure motion tracking, gesture recognition, voice recognition, virtual and augmented reality, and surround sound systems. We were a founding partner of the Collaborative Embodied Movement Design Network, a project supported in part through the Australian Research Council's Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment, and Facilities fund, including research partners in Australia and internationally. Together with our partners, we developed a national collaborative network of arts/technology researchers, enabling collaboration to optimise the quality of these systems from an embodied perspective creating innovative possibilities for fabrication, industry, commerce, education, health care, and the creative arts.

    Our areas of expertise and application development include the following:

    • Interactive visual arts (interactive installations, virtual reality applications)
    • Interactive performance environments
    • Electronic literature
    • Online and virtual pedagogy
    • Computer gaming, multi-person communication, and collaboration systems
    • Architectural visualisation applications, including in cultural restoration projects
    • Rapid prototyping and assembly

    Our facility is comprised of a 67 square metre dedicated area for human-computer interaction and is fully networked for live streaming between local and remote systems.

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    Members

    Leader

    Academic Staff

    Adjunct Staff

    Affiliate Staff

    Postgraduate Students

    • Alexander Degaris-Boot
    • Thomas Folber
    • Andrew Lymn-Penning
    • Leslie Matthews
    • Adisti Regar
    • Tara Rowhani-Farid

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    Design for Health and Wellbeing

    Merging design, healthcare, and immersive digital experiences in order to help tackle major health and wellbeing issues

    Design Research for Health and Wellbeing (DRHW) is home to a cross-disciplinary network of researchers, computer scientists, creative practitioners, healthcare workers, and service users. An emphasis on the use of design and design research allows for the development and prototyping of objects, environments, systems, and services to improve the experience of healthcare and healthcare delivery.

    We are particularly interested in the application of AR, VR, SR, and Mixed Reality technologies in the patient journey and the training of healthcare professionals. We are also interested in the creation of inclusive visualisation techniques and interfaces such as data physicalisation, to assist non-specialist audiences making better sense of data.

    Our industry partners include hospitals, care villages, local government, health education, design, and architectural firms. We work on a wide range of health and wellbeing related health issues including non-communicable disease management, preventative care, antibiotic resistance, and ageing communities.

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    The Design Clinic

    Part of the Design Research for Health and Wellbeing group, The Design Clinic provides the design and specialist facilitation of co-design workshops that use design thinking and participatory research methods to help care providers and care users better understand and communicate the lived experience of health care. We work with a wide range of co-design tools including Lego serious play, and distributed participant collaborative software such as Miro.

    Members

    Leader

    Academic Staff

    Affiliate Members

    Postgraduate Students

    • Jia Qi Chua
    • Nikou Javadi
    • Lorraine Marchioro
    • Darren Talijaard
    • Rui Zhang

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  • 3d-glasses Empathic Computing minus-thin plus-thin

    Empathic Computing

    Bridging the emotional gap between humans and technology

    The Empathic Computing Laboratory (ECL) is an academic research collaboration between the University of South Australia and the University of Auckland and explores new ways for technology to enable people to better understand one another.

    Empathy is about seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another. Empathic Computing is a research field that develops computer systems that recognise and share emotions and help people better understand one another. Our team is working to make empathic computing mainstream and investigate both software and hardware components to enable this technology, along with researching the usability of such interfaces.

    Research themes:

    • Empathic Computing
    • Collaborative Interfaces
    • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/Mixed Reality Interfaces
    • Virtual Training and Education
    • Virtual Tourism

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    Members

    Leader

    Academic Staff

    Affiliate Staff

    Postgraduate Students

    • Hyunwoo Cho
    • Jonathon Hart
    • Ashkan Hayati
    • Hanaa Ibrahim
    • Allison Jing
    • Louise Lawrence
    • Urich Nandagopal
    • Mitchell Norman
    • Dmitry Resnyansky
    • Hugo Tian
    • Bowen Yuan

    Visiting Academics

    • Dr Eunhee Chang 

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    Sensor Systems

    The future of integrated human-computer technology

    With the rising importance of sensor systems in the digital age, we are investigating different ways of obtaining and analysing relevant data. Sensor systems encompass not only devices and algorithms, but also technologies required in sensing applications, including remote sensing, surveillance systems and dedicated sensor platforms and networks. We are exploring the means by which sensor data is obtained, then securely and effectively transported, post-processed and used to make decisions. 

    We perform research and support decision making in a broad range of advanced topics including: 

    •     UAV and robotic systems
    •     statistical signal processing
    •     sensing, control, and machine intelligence
    •     systems engineering
    •     defence and aerospace technologies. 

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    Members

    Leader

    Academic Staff

    Postgraduate Students

    • Ziyue Jin
    • Nicholas Kaliszewski
    • Fatema-Tuz-Zohra Khanam
    • Yong Lee
    • Alex Lefik
    • John McGuire
    • Blake McIvor
    • Tran Xuan Bach Nguyen
    • Titilayo Ogunwa
    • Ioan Porumb
    • Samuel Teague
    • Yiting Tao
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    Studio for Complex Human Environment Design

    The Studio for Complex Human Environment Design (SCHED) is a multidisciplinary design studio developing processes, methods, and knowledge to design and develop complex human environments

    Our research uses Human Centred Design (HCD) practices to understand how people work and live in these highly technical, high risk and complex environments to improve the human experience and usability.  These include isolated and confined environments (ICE) or spaces that house high-stakes, high-intensity activities such as submarines, ships, space crafts, medical facilities, and Antarctic buildings.

     We transform spaces using our HCD expertise, along with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) modeling, Virtual Reality (VR) simulations, human experience studies, anthropometry, and physical model building.  Alongside other research groups within the university, including those specialising in biomechanics, psychology, and interactive and virtual environments, we work to develop integrated solutions that address technical, physiological, and psychological requirements.

     The people who live and work in these spaces are at the core of the process. A range of different methods are used to engage with users and the physical context throughout the process. This ensures the design team understands people’s activities and needs so that the design proposal is fit for purpose.

     We access a range of workshops and physical prototyping facilities, which we use to construct functional models of various levels of complexity.  These are used throughout the project and are key tools during development, engagement, and communication.  Within our studio, we build physical, to-scale models of spaces using inexpensive and recyclable materials, like cardboard, enabling researchers and the client to understand the space and how users will interact with it.

     The outcome is a grounded, practical, user-focused design proposal expressed using physical prototypes, virtual reality, fly-throughs, and functional artefacts.  The process is documented using literature reviews and reports of the user engagement workshops and outcomes, providing evidence-based for the design.  In summary, HCD puts people at the heart of the process.  It is an iterative practice that begins with empathy for the people we are designing for and invites their input throughout the project. 

     We have worked closely with defence industries, including DST, Lockheed Martin Australia, Naval Group Australia, SAAB Australia, and the Royal Australian Navy.  Through our projects, we have developed a rich and deep understanding of what it is like to live in these isolated and confined environments for defence personnel and submariners.  More recently, we have provided input to the design of rooms within South Australia’s new Women’s and Children’s Hospital.  We designed and built life-size mock-ups of clinical rooms out of cardboard to assist clinicians, other staff, and consumers visualise the size and proposed layout.  The temporary mock-up rooms allowed staff and consumers to experience and orientate themselves with the proposed room layouts early in the design phase.

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    Members

    Leader

    Academic Staff

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  • computer-tower-server Wearable Computing minus-thin plus-thin

    Wearable Computing

    Future-focused research with real world applications

    The Wearable Computer Lab explores all areas of human-computer and human-machine interaction, with an extensive focus across augmented and virtual reality, visualisation, wearables, and future technologies. The lab has expertise in:

    • Novel virtual and augmented/mixed reality interaction systems and techniques
    • electro-mechanical device prototyping and development
    • Immersive visualisation and analytics of big data across industries
    • Projector based augmented reality
    • Natural human-machine interfaces with body and hand interaction

    From its founding in 1998, the lab has developed and employed cutting-edge technologies to explore what the future may hold, both in fundamental and applied technologies across a variety of domains including health, mining, manufacturing, construction, and defence. Comprised of a globally and culturally diverse set of researchers, academics, research students, and assistants, the lab’s global reach in partnerships and research has led to WCL alumni being located at industry and research organisations around the world.

    Working alongside IVE’s other research groups, the WCL explores human-computer interaction from all angles including human factors, ergonomics, design, creativity, and human psychology. We work on both industry-focused and research-focused projects, delivering outcomes for both academia and industry stakeholders.

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    Members

    Leader

    Academic Staff

    Adjunct Staff

    • Dr Daniel Harvie
    • Dr Rudi Vernik

    Affiliate Members

    External Members

    • Associate Professor Tomasz Bednarz
    • Dr Henry Gardner
    • Dr Jacob Ross

    Postgraduate Students

    • Daniel Ablett
    • Thomas Clarke
    • Jamie Gower
    • Radhika Jain
    • Corey Martin
    • Naomi Mathes
    • Brandon Matthews
    • Kieran May
    • Jasmine Nguyen
    • Spencer O'Keeffe
    • Juan Pieschacon
    • Thomas Rinnert
    • Chenkai Zhang

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