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Virtual Reality: Getting Started

This guide will highlight applications of Virtual Reality for potential classroom use.


Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 360° video: how can these enliven the classroom? Explore our resources here, and suggest new ones.

VR Equipment & Lab

  • LIB 309A, The Virtual Reality Lab in the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library may be reserved during library hours.
  • The VR Lab is available for booking for a maximum of 2 hours per day.
  • A key to access the room must be checked out from Circulation on the 1st floor of the library and then returned after the session.
  • Use of the room is for class-related activities, not personal gaming.

Equipment in STELAR

The VR lab currently includes the following VR devices for you to test out on site:

  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • Microsoft Hololens
  • Google Cardboard
  • 360° cameras

Stop by and get some basic instruction from our graduate assistants or instructional technologists, and climb aboard!

Virtual Reality

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality is the use of software and devices to simulate a 'real world' environment in which the user feels completely immersed.  Often, this includes not just sight, but sound and gestures.  

Examples include:  Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Leap Motion and Google Cardboard. 

Oculus Rift HTC Vive headset Google Cardboard

Augmented Reality, a mix of real world surroundings and digitally added features, is a similar concept that has become more popular as technology improves.

Examples of augmented reality include:  Microsoft Hololens, the Pokemon Go! app, and the Fetch app for the Structure Sensor (available at the Tech Desk).

Microsoft Hololens

360-degree videos, also known as immersive videos or spherical videos, are video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama. 360-degree video is typically recorded using either a special rig of multiple cameras, or using a dedicated camera that contains multiple camera lenses embedded into the device. The resulting footage is then stitched to form a single video. Most 360-degree video is monoscopic (2D), meaning that it is viewed as a one (360x180 equirectangular) image directed to both eyes. Stereoscopic video (3D) is viewed as two distinct (360x180 equirectangular) images directed individually to each eye. (Wikipedia).

Academic Uses of VR

STELAR Contacts

Eric Tornoe, Associate Director, Research Computing

General contact form for STELAR

Associate Director | Research, Education & Engagement

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Karen Brunner
O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library |
Room 118