Augmented Reality

Bridging the gap between virtual and real.

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What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Setup interactive prompts
Put on the glasses
Interact with virtual space

Augmented reality superimposes holograms or interactive graphics, sounds and haptic feedback onto your view of the world. When these holograms are viewed through a pair of glasses they can be interacted with as if they were part of your world. Augmented reality combines the thrill of virtual reality with the power to engage with and personalise your surroundings.

Our AR equipment

The NExT Lab provides access to 2 Microsoft HoloLens, the first self-contained, holographic computer. Through the HoloLens you can access a range of apps or upload your own content.

Microsoft Hololens

Microsoft HoloLens is the first self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. This holographic computing is made possible by specialized components like multiple sensors, advanced optics, and a custom holographic processing unit enable you to go beyond the screen.

More information

Why use AR?

Augmented Reality allows you to have a multi-sensory experience of what objects and designs will be like in a real space. This could be as simple as seeing how furniture will look in your home before purchase or enabling you as a designer to experience the size, scale and look of an object before production. It could also revolutionise more complex processes, such as buildings sites, by providing a holographic construction manual for how and where elements should be assembled.


The NExT Lab offers a range of training to help you learn how to use the AR equipment. This training includes:

  1. Training Centre

    Video tutorials and guides to help you understand and use all the tech in the NExT Lab and the MSD Makerlabs.

    Training Centre

  2. Introductory Session

    Each week a range of introductory sessions are scheduled. Come along and learn about the fundamentals, such as how to setup and prepare VR files, software basics and how to submit a 3D print. No previous experience required.

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  3. Expansion Session

    If you want to learn advanced techniques and processes to extend the possibilities of each technology, these are the sessions for you. Each week a range of sessions will be scheduled - each focusing on a particular technique or skill. You can come to one session or all to get a detailed understanding of the tech.

    Book Session

  4. Consultations

    Book a consultation with the NExT Lab's experienced staff to get help with complex technical challenges specific to your project. Before making a booking, it is expected that you have completed the Introductory and Expansion sessions and attempted to resolve the problem independently.

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For a full explanation of the training available visit the Training Page.


The HoloLenses in the NExT lab are available for everyone to use, including staff, students and the public, after completing some basic training.

  1. Before using the HoloLens for the first time everyone must attend a Augmented Reality Intro Session. In this session, we will get you up and running with some exciting demos and games. From here you will know how to use the equipment safely and can freely book the equipment for future visits. - Book Now
  2. After completing the Intro Session you can book a time to use a Hololens in the NExT Lab during the Augmented Reality sessions. You can either create your own content or use the Hololens with preloaded content. The Training Center provides resources and tutorials for helping you create great virtual environments.

Book an AR session


There is no charge for use of the Hololens.

Frequently asked questions

What is AR?

Augmented Reality(AR) is when additional effects such as graphics, sound and touch feedback are added into our natural world. Unlike virtual reality which requires users to inhabit an entirely virtual environment, augmented reality uses your existing natural environment and simply overlays over the top of it.

What type of AR does the MSD have? What are the benefits?

The MSD has Microsoft Hololens’ that are available for students. The Hololens are a single unit headset that uses a combination of hand gestures and voice commands to control the interface.

What can AR be used for?

AR is useful for overlaying information which could be useful for showing more in depth information about proposed designs and surrounding urban datasets or information. It could also be used for showing the construction methodology or specific construction detailing.

Can I try out AR?

Yes, the NExT Lab will be hosting AR information nights for students who would like to be able to try the AR equipment. Students can find the dates of upcoming information sessions and other events from the events section of the NExT Lab website.

How do I book the AR gear?

Student are able to book the AR through the bookings section of the NExT Lab website. Students will need book an introductory session to learn the basics of setting up the AR equipment and how to operate it safely. Expansion sessions are available for students to learn further information and consultations will be available for students to book.

Can I use AR outside of the NExT lab?

Borrowing is limited to within the NExT Lab for students once the induction session has been completed. Smart phones have the capacity to be used for AR, however require the use of additional platforms such Android Studio or Eclipse.

Need enrolment assistance?

Stop 1 provides enrolment and other support to Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Environments and Melbourne School of Design students.