Virtual and Augmented Reality

Printers & Labs, Teaching & Learning

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Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are emerging technologies typically associated with gaming. Though, these technologies offer significant potential in the areas of simulation and research visualization. OIT is closely following the industry and making efforts to provide access to this technology on campus.


  • Virtual Reality (VR): Virtual environment(s) explored by a user in a headset
  • Augmented Reality (AR): Virtual content overlaid on a user's real-world view
  • Extended Reality (XR): Umbrella term that encompasses VR and AR
  • Metaverse: Shared immersive digital space


XR technologies have a wide range of applications in higher education, including:

Simulation and Training

Simulations of real-life situations that would be difficult or expensive to replicate in the real world. Examples include medical procedures, nursing, worker safety training, and sports.

Research and Experimentation

Explore complex phenomena and test hypotheses in a controlled immersive environment. This can be particularly useful in fields such as psychology, neuroscience, and engineering.

Virtual Field Trips

Travel through time and space. For example, visit historical buildings that are no longer in existence and visit hard-to-reach archeological dig sites.

Student Health

In collaboration with our partners at Duke Recreation, we are exploring exercise-based VR experiences, as well as meditation VR experiences to enhance student wellness.

What We Provide

OIT is closely following the industry and making efforts to provide access to this emerging technology on campus. We specifically aim to provide:

  • Hardware: Access to high-end VR/AR headsets and development workstations
  • Training: Workshops on various tools used to create custom virtual experiences.
  • VR Tours: Guided “Experience VR” tours for individuals or even whole classes
  • Consults: Making your own virtual experience? We can provide advice!