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Client: The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology - an Australian Centre focused on plant research and education.

Technology/platform: Unity, Gear VR, Google Daydream, Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift

Together with the centre and AVRL, we created a custom and novel educational virtual reality resource called the Virtual Plant Cell (VPC). This allows users to interact with a plant cell and learn about the complex processes that scientists study in an innovative and engaging way.

The app is primarily for mobile devices, to be viewed with Gear VR, Daydream or Cardboard headsets, and there is also a version for Oculus Rift.

A 360 video preview is available below:

The experience itself is fully interactive, letting people move around the cell to learn about how plants produce energy from protein genes, with various sub-games and activities.

They can go inside a plant cell, explore the insides (the nucleus, mitochondria, the Golgi apparatus…) and interact by, for example, selecting genes from a strand of DNA.

Deployed on mobile devices, a pilot version of VPC was launched during National Science Week 2016 and viewed by thousands. It was overwhelmingly well received and its potential as a teaching tool validated through audience feedback.

VPC has been featured on tech news sites such as Gizmodo, VRFocus and more...

We are continuing development of VPC for events and release of the app in 2017.