“XR on Tour” by the SURF Open Innovation Lab

From April to June 2022 the SURF Open Innovation Lab is organizing “XR on Tour”, in which they will visit various events and institutions. The goal of the tour is to inspire and find potential new use(r)s of different forms of XR, to strengthen connections with existing XR hubs and local communities, and in general to promote XR as a technology that can be beneficial to research and education in The Netherlands.

Written by the SURF Open Innovation Lab

XR, or eXtended Reality, is an umbrella term for technology and associated applications that work with virtual 3D environments, of which Virtual Reality (VR) is the most well-known. But there are also Mixed Reality (MR) and Augmented Reality (AR), which overlay virtual content on the real world, and which have different uses compared to VR.

In the tour example use cases and the latest possibilities of XR technologies will be demonstrated, with a mix of consumer and high-end enterprise-grade devices. By exposing researchers and educators to the current possibilities, we want to ask them to imagine how XR can be applied to their field of work. And not just with the current state of the art, but what about 2 years from now, or 10 years, as the technology develops at a rapid pace?

Some well-known possibilities are digitally preserving and inspecting archaeological excavations, or the virtual examination of the human body. Another promising avenue of applications is the digitization of classical lab environments, as well as other observational and field labs. There are certainly other great possibilities for research and education with XR in the social sciences and humanities, especially when considering integrated and peripheral technologies such as eye tracking, voice recording, ecg monitors, etc, that may be used to research physiological responses to environmental conditions. XR can also be applied when individuals require exposure to environments in which safety is key for learning, both physically & mentally as well as financially when working with sensitive and expensive machinery.

If you know any researchers / research groups that would be interested in an on-site demo – or even better – already have an idea for a XR-project but not the facilities available, please let us know. In the SURF Open Innovation Lab we are looking for appealing Proof-of-Concepts to develop together. You can contact Mark Cole (mark.cole@surf.nl) or Paul Melis (paul.melis@surf.nl).

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