The RCR Lab is equipped with multisensor immersive technology. High-technology aids in the lab manipulate the senses to facilitate immersion in a simulated environment or an incident that feels real. In other words, a simulation can be so realistic that one forgets that they are in a lab.
At completion, the lab will include a variety of technical aids for simulations:
- 360° Visualization
A number of ceiling projectors facilitate the seamless visualization on white walls. The venue measures 8mX8m with a projection surface of 2m in height. The projections may be film, virtual environments, images, etc.
- 360° Sound system
The lab is equipped with surround sound in order to enhance the feeling of motion in the visualizations. This is similar to the sound systems in movie theatres with the sound coming in from multiple sources and following the sequence of the film.
Special speakers create vibration with the use of low-level frequencies to simulate, for example, traffic noise.
The simulation of different environments requires different kinds of lighting: for example, daylight is very different to the light in a nightclub. A variety of colors as well as lightning or the glow of fire enhance different scenarios.
We use typical theatrical smoke to simulate fire or other instances when there would be smoke.
Scents are important for the affective enhancement of simulations as, for example, the scent of a forest is very different to that of a hospital. The simulation of incidents also is enhanced by the use of scents. For example, diesel, exhaust fumes, rubber or smoke would enhance the simulation of a car accident.
We use infrared heat units mainly to enhance fire scenarios.
We use theatrical props to enhance realism in a simulation, just as in a theatrical play.
A range of technologies are going to be available to register data generated from the simulations.
Fixed and moveable cameras will be available to film what happens in the lab. The cameras will be able to film under normal light conditions as well as infrared for scenarios that call for darkness or smoke. The walls will be painted with a special metallic paint that allows the magnetic mounting of cameras at any point on the walls.
- Sound Recording
Fixed and moveable microphones record sound. Researchers and students may use body microphones as well directed microphones to record sound from specific sources.
- Eye Tracking
Researchers and students may use eye trackers—glasses which record eye movement and blinking patterns—to examine, for example, where people look for information in different situations and under different circumstances.
- Physiological Technology
The body reacts differently in different situations. These reactions may be computed with the aid of technology measuring factors such as pulse, perspiration, breathing, etc.
The lab will also have mobile kits that can be packed and used for in situ studies and exercises. Some examples of environments that could have use for such a mobile unit could be the industry, hospitals, and the public sector.