World-first virtual reality experience ready to roll at World Science Festival


By Hannah Kotaidis

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live the pre-historic age where dinosaurs and other creatures roamed the earth?

You no longer have to imagine, thanks to the state-of-the-art virtual reality experience opening at the Queensland Museum tomorrow.

As part of the World Science Festival, the Dinosaurs and Prehistory exhibit will allow visitors to feel as if they are part of a Jurassic world.

Queensland Museum Senior Curator, Doctor Scott Hocknull with one of the dinosaurs from the Museum’s pre-historic collection.

Queensland Museum Senior Curator, Doctor Scott Hocknull with one of the dinosaurs from the Museum’s pre-historic collection.

Queensland Museum Geo-Sciences Senior Curator and exhibition leader, Doctor Scott Hocknull, says virtual reality allows us to see, feel and hear things from the past.

“This is just the start, no where else, anywhere else on the planet that I know of is actually doing this stuff,” he says.

Hocknull first introduced 3D modelling to the Queensland Museum in 2012 but was struggling ways to share the images with the world.

He approached a Brisbane-based software company to build the virtual reality hologram room.

“It is a work in progress where we have joined together to bring these animals back to life in holographic form.

“We are testing out the abilities of software programs and hologram computing and projections and seeing how far we can go,” Hocknull says.

Unlike existing virtual reality platforms such as Google Earth, where you can see objects from a frontal view, this world-first technology allows users to move around freely and get up close and personal with the prehistoric creatures.

Hocknull says visitors will be given with 3D ‘movie-style’ glasses.

“You don’t feel claustrophobic and you don’t have the delay that you typically get wearing a headset. You are in the rainforest environment.

“They (the dinosaurs) don’t eat you, well not yet, we’re working on that!”

It would take 1000 years to display the more than seven million specimens in the Queensland Museum’s pre-historic collection, but the holographic technology will allow Hocknull and his team to show the public everything.

“The only way forward is through virtual reality.

“This is what the festival is all about – bringing new technology and these ancient worlds together,” he says.

Details: The virtual reality experience runs 10am-5pm daily from March 10- March 13 as part of the World Science Festival at the Queensland Museum.