VR to show off new Tauranga Campus

Students attending the Tauranga Careers Expo will be some the first to step inside and experience the University of Waikato’s new Tauranga Campus, thanks to Virtual Reality technology.

The Careers Expo runs until 3pm today, during which the University will feature the latest VR technology to showcase some of the key architectural and design elements of the new campus, providing a human-scale experience of the building.

The VR technology will enable students at the expo to walk around in a virtual environment as if they were inside the new campus.

“Students can get a visceral feel of what the new building is like and see which areas they’ll be using. Using the technology, you can walk or jump around; you can point your hand to where you want to go and even leap there, allowing you to jump from the bottom to the top of the building. If you’re game enough you can even put your head through the walls,” says senior future student’s advisor Andy Howells.

Opening in 2019, the new Tauranga CBD Campus will unite the University’s network of campuses across the Bay and will enhance its growing range of qualifications available to students. The University of Waikato is leading the development of a dedicated campus on behalf of the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Partnership.

The University of Waikato and Hawkins Construction, who are responsible for building the Tauranga Campus, have partnered with Better World Digital to bring the new campus to life at the Careers Expo through the use of Virtual Reality technology.

“Virtual Reality is opening up possibilities and creating new opportunities within architecture, training, marketing, and even tourism, by removing physical barriers,” says Better World Digital’s founder Geoff Bentley.

“The HTC VIVE headset being used at the Careers Expo will allow students to walk around the new campus. It’s like you’re really there. It will be very powerful and impactful for those students who step inside.”

Virtual Reality technology has benefited the development of the new campus by bringing the architectural plans to life, helping to visualise the building and spaces in 3D.

The new campus is designed to promote collaboration and social learning, with communal study and social spaces, a 24-hour computer lab and a café.

It also includes multi-functional spaces, including a 200-seat tiered lecture theatre and a noho centre, which incorporates sleeping, catering and teaching facilities that will be available for use by University students, staff and the wider community.

The University of Waikato’s Virtual Reality experience of the new Tauranga Campus will be at stand number 1 at the Tauranga Careers Expo, taking place at ASB Arena, from 9am-4pm.

Also at the University's site at the Careers Expo will be representatives from eight Faculties to give information about programmes on offer in Tauranga from 2019.

The University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance will showcase some of the work being done in the field of human performance science, and the Coastal Marine Field Station will provide an insight into opportunities being investigated in the marine environment in and around Tauranga Moana.


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