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Team Occa – Goals and Objectives

Systems & Tools 17 December 2014 | 2.31pm

For an introduction to our team, click here.

This week we focused on learning what people at Arup are working on with the Oculus currently, and setting goals and objectives for us to work towards during our time here.

We kicked this week off with a meeting with Terence Caulkins from Arup’s New York office, who gave us some insight into what he has done with the Oculus Rift and what he would like to see. A major goal is the ability to interact with an engineering model in the Oculus while viewing and changing data – creating a platform that not only allows you to visualise and interact with your environment, but also highlight and correct engineering issues as you discover them.

We were joined by David Lind and Bob Donker from Arup’s Brisbane office this week, who showed us some of the transport visualisation projects they’d been working on and how they integrated them with Oculus. In turn we showed them what we’d learnt over the last week as they were new to Unity as well. Both teams were able to learn some neat tricks for working with models in Unity.

The Brisbane team also helped us identify three main fields for exploration in the project. These were:

  • Being able to connect Oculus through Unity to BIM databases (allowing models to display relevant data)
  • To have documentation of a streamlined process for importing models into Unity and the Oculus (developing scripts and methodologies to share across the Arup globe)
  • Being able to interact with and experience the models in a variety of ways, depending on the discipline and the data that needs to be shown.

Ash and Andrew have been working on interaction, developing an existing SoundLab demo to run in Oculus, so the user has the complete immersive experience of sitting in an office, and listening to office background noise through various partitions (Maybe not one for thrill seekers…).

Michael and Tara have begun work on importing data from Revit into Unity so that relevant BIM data can be shown when the corresponding feature of a model is selected. This has been done with much assistance from the guiding hand of Yamin Tengono. Mike Alder also dropped by to give a brief overview of Revit, what kind of similar technologies exist, and where they want to proceed with the technology.

We had also been working hard to set up a demonstration, which we showed to people in the office on Friday. The aforementioned office ‘Speech Privacy’ demo made an appearance, along with some other demos that demonstrate the potential of the Oculus. A stomach turning Roller Coaster demo as well as an architectural walk through. The event was a success, with the Oculus impressing and attendees able to provide useful ideas and feedback.

An Oculus Rift rollercoaster demo


So real you can almost touch it…


Enjoying the Rollercoaster Demo



Tara Morgan

Melbourne, Australia

“I am a Monash University student with a fascination with the future, and the possibilities for technology. ”

View all posts by: Tara Morgan