University of Johannesburg: UJ’s School of Tourism and Hospitality launch Extended Reality Lab (XR Lab)

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The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) launched an Extended Reality (XR) Lab on Thursday, 25 August 2022.

The XR facility is established through the Food Evolution Research Laboratory (FERL), a virtual research laboratory located within STH, in collaboration with the Metaverse Research Unit at UJ. FERL has a specific focus on the evolution of food and conducting research to enhance the lifestyles of people in communities who recognise the importance of health and nutrition. Extended Reality is a combination of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

“XR Technology allows immersion in the evolving three-dimensional environments which provides innovative research and instils education. Research becomes innovative by using XR as a tool for data collection through observations in the lab. The use of 360-degree camera footage taken from various research settings can be shared with a larger audience through XR thus bringing the real world to the virtual classroom/lab. This type of learning could be interesting and fun for both students and researchers,” – Dr Hema Kesa, FERL Director.

FERL will be adopting these technologies for research, training as well as teaching and learning purposes.

Examples of implementation:
Nutrition classes:
Students will be taught a concept in the classroom and this will be demonstrated and assessed through the use of XR, eg. Nutrition Education, Portion control, Healthy eating choices vs unhealthy food choices all linked to Food Away from Home (FAFH). Students will be exposed to different food environments and their choices can be assessed.

The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) launched an Extended Reality (XR) Lab on Thursday, 25 August 2022.

The XR facility is established through the Food Evolution Research Laboratory (FERL), a virtual research laboratory located within STH, in collaboration with the Metaverse Research Unit at UJ. FERL has a specific focus on the evolution of food and conducting research to enhance the lifestyles of people in communities who recognise the importance of health and nutrition. Extended Reality is a combination of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

“XR Technology allows immersion in the evolving three-dimensional environments which provides innovative research and instils education. Research becomes innovative by using XR as a tool for data collection through observations in the lab. The use of 360-degree camera footage taken from various research settings can be shared with a larger audience through XR thus bringing the real world to the virtual classroom/lab. This type of learning could be interesting and fun for both students and researchers,” – Dr Hema Kesa, FERL Director.

FERL will be adopting these technologies for research, training as well as teaching and learning purposes.

Examples of implementation:
Nutrition classes:
Students will be taught a concept in the classroom and this will be demonstrated and assessed through the use of XR, eg. Nutrition Education, Portion control, Healthy eating choices vs unhealthy food choices all linked to Food Away from Home (FAFH). Students will be exposed to different food environments and their choices can be assessed.

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