The Interactive Technologies (IxT) Lab, also based in Melbourne Connect, is a state-of-the-art facility that allows researchers and students to explore, design and develop novel interactions using cutting edge technologies such as motion-capture, voice assistants, AR/VR and Kinects, just to name a few.
The lab has a multitude of co-working spaces, equipment and tools that can be booked by lab users. These include: desks for VR/AR development work, flexible movable desks for a range of development and prototyping work, a 6x6 square meter project space known as ‘The Rig’ with a ceiling mounted rig for motion capture and projection work, and a workbench and soldering station for working with electronic components and designing and building prototypes.
The Rig in the IxT Lab is equipped with an advanced motion capture system using Optitrack cameras which allows the tracking of objects and humans with sub-millimeter accuracy. The system consists of 12 infrared cameras and 2 color prime cameras all mounted on a fixed rig on the ceiling of the lab. The total capture volume is 6x6x3 cubic meters.
There are also six high-end laser projectors installed on the rig that work in tandem with a fully retractable white screen or green screen. The projectors allow full 360 volumetric projection that covers the walls, floor and the cubic volume of the space. The space is also equipped with a high-end 5.1.2 surround sound system for creating immersive audio-visual experiences.
The IxT Lab is kept up-to-date with emerging technologies and houses the latest devices and gadgets that redefine user interfaces and experiences. These include new headsets for Augmented and Virtual Reality (Hololens 2, Occulus Quest 2, Magic Leap), specialised cameras (Kinect depth cameras, thermal cameras), wearable sensors (heart rate, EEG) and voice-enabled speakers (Alexa, Google Home). This allows researchers and students to explore and innovate by combining technologies in new and exciting ways.
The lab also acts as a mini makerspace, with a range of electronic kits in-house, including Arduino and Raspberry Pi development boards for rapid prototyping. There is a workbench in the lab with tools and equipment for hardware development and a soldering station. Flexible worktables can also be set up for general development work.