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The construction industry has a disproportionately high level of fatalities and injuries, and figures highly in the WorkCover Authority of NSW’s list of high-risk industries. Based on technologies developed by the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research as part of its iCASTS mining safety program, virtual reality platforms are being adapted into a suite of modules for safety training in the construction industry.
The objective of the project is to develop and test an immersive virtual reality system that can be effectively used to improve the safety outcomes of real construction projects. The system is similar to a sophisticated, immersive computer game, with each interactive software module recreating environments for various training scenarios that can be displayed in multiple theatre modes. These include the 180-degree iDome for individual training sessions, and the 360-degree platform for group training within the immersive Advanced Visualisation and Interaction Environment known as the AVIE.
These virtual experiences enable users to begin to visualise and recognise complex workplace situations, build up knowledge of procedures and skills, and undergo training in a safe and forgiving environment. Not only does the technology allow participants to interact with an immersive program highly responsive to movement through space, it contains the potential for presenting trainees with situations in which they can manipulate objects and engage with artificial intelligence.
Partners for this project include the University of New South Wales and Brookfield Multiplex.
This project was supported by the Australia Council for the Arts Embedded Creatives Grant, and Brookfield Multiplex.