Recent developments in AR & VR hardware have resulted in a range of nascent commercial products, e.g. the Microsoft Hololens and DAQRI smart helmet (augmented reality), Occulus Rift and HTC Vive (virtual reality). Laboratory use is an obvious application of current tether-free AR technology, which could enable new experimental methodologies as well as offer basic procedural, efficiency, training and health and safety benefits. VR technology, which typically requires tethering to a high-performance PC, provides a complementary platform, more suited to fully immersive computational uses such as multi-dimensional data visualization and big data applications.
Early work with the Hololens, investigating 3D visualization and basic lab usage, has already begun in the group; this project would further work to explore and develop these capabilities. See also the related project on heterogenous computing.