Gadgets

This Virtual Reality Lab in Kerala capital gives you a sneak-peek into the fast-emerging technology

A demonstration of the Virtual Reality experience at Keltron

A demonstration of the Virtual Reality experience at Keltron   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

Keltron’s Virtual Reality Lab in Thiruvananthapuram opens doors for a hands-on experience in the fast-emerging technologies of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality

As I soak in the breathtaking beauty of undersea life with its coral habitats and schools of multi-hued fishes, a gurgle of sorts seem to echo from afar. Soon, a sea of light-emitting jellyfishes swim into the picture and swarm around me as they make their way across the ethereal waters. But mistake not that I’m actually standing on the ocean floor, as instead of swimming goggles and scuba tank, what I have on is a Virtual Reality (VR) headset with a pair of earphones attached.

The Virtual Reality Lab, flagged off recently at Keltron House, Vellayambalam, opens doors for a hands-on experience in the fast-emerging technologies of virtual reality, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality that simulate real-life impressions. With four consoles in operation now, the lab offers a peek into the immersive world of 360 degrees VR simulation through demo apps.

“The objective is to introduce the public to advancements in 3D design through the state-of-the-art technology of Virtual Reality, which holds a lot of promise for entertainment and infontainment. It shows how technology is advancing beyond the 3D. One highlight of the lab is the Mixed Reality experience, which blends VR and AR to make it more interactive,” says Ajayakumar CP, manager of Keltron’s Knowledge Services Group under which the facility has been set up.

The interface uses a VR headset and a pair of motion controllers with tracking sensors that enables the user to navigate through the display projected inside the headset. Immersive demo simulations on offer include undersea life, space adventure, anatomy and health, first-person games and more.

A demonstration of the Virtual Reality experience at Keltron

A demonstration of the Virtual Reality experience at Keltron   | Photo Credit: Harikumar J S

Those looking to go on a sortie on the edge of space get to “be an astronaut” aboard the International Space Station with a voice narration for accompaniment. But there’s a mission: manoeuvre your way outside the space shuttle and fix a faulty solar panel. The bonus is a stunning view of a haloed earth, as seen so far from the terrestrial world. Another simulation, a roller-coaster ride, is perhaps not for the faint-hearted.

If astronomy is your interest, get wired in for an interplanetary experience of the Solar System that lets you learn about the planets and the universe. Another demo features a dizzying, bird’s eye view of a futuristic city, resembling scenes right out of some sci-fi flick. The health module lets you zoom in on the human anatomy with brilliant microscopic, 360 degrees visualisations of various organs, inside and outside. Then there’s a simulation of the Italian capital city of Rome that virtually serves as a guided city tour. Those into video games can go on a do-or-die adventure through the first-person game Superhot VR.

Anandhu JS, a VR lab instructor, says the simulations are downloadable apps, which are then customised for the user’s convenience, even as the lab plans to add more simulations from various fields. The lab has been set up in partnership with real-time development platform Unity, with infrastructure support from HP, explains Ajayakumar, adding that the facility is open for those aged 13 and above.

The VR lab currently offers three packages spanning 15 minutes each for visitors to experience.

The Virtual Reality Lab is open from Monday to Saturday. Contact: 9188665545 or log on to ksg.keltron.in

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:20:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/gadgets/this-virtual-reality-lab-in-kerala-capital-gives-you-a-sneak-peek-into-the-fast-emerging-technology/article30820009.ece

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