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UniSA Wearable Computer Lab

Contact Details

UniSA Wearable Computer Lab
Contact: Bruce Thomas
Address: School of Computer and Information Science, The University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes SA 5095
Phone: +61 8 8302 3464
Fax: +61 8 8302 3988


The Mawson Institute at the University of South Australia completed building a state-of-the-art $3 million dollar projector-based visualization laboratory (under the direction of CI Thomas). The laboratory is unique in the world for a number of reasons. First the physical size of the laboratory allows for extremely large displays to be constructed in a flexible way. The space is 14 metres long by 8.5 metres wide with a 4.0 metre ceiling. Two walls are bare and painted for a projection surfaces; providing 24.5 metres by 3.5 of projection surface. Flexibility is a major design feature of the laboratory. The ceiling is rigged similar to theatre stage lighting, with hanging piping suspended in a grid pattern with additional power and data points placed every two metres. The projector mountings allow for 2-axis angular alignment to direct the projection anywhere in the laboratory.

There is a digital video matrix switch to allow for quick reconfiguration of projector and computer combinations. The ability to cover large artefacts with projector-based visualization is unmatched in the world. This new laboratory incorporates the following: forty sets of projectors and computers with mounting systems, an IS1200 wide area tracking system, and thirty digital cameras.

CI Thomas’ laboratory has become world-known for its work in advanced user interfaces. CI Smith is well known for his work with advanced and novel human computer interaction techniques and devices. The UniSA laboratory has close collaboration links with major advanced user interface research groups in MIT, TU Graz, Uni. of Columbia, and UNC.

The members of the laboratory take scientific systems approach to research. Because advanced user interface research requires not only a deep theoretical approach, but the theoretical results must be validated in appropriate systems for validation. The true excellence of the personnel of the laboratory is in the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills.

The laboratory consists of two Professors, three Level C academics, three Level B Postdocs, one Research Associate, one Research Assistant, eight PhD students, and many undergraduate research students. Additionally the facilities include a prototyping workshop developed by the Wearable Computer Laboratory in the School of Computer and Information Science, which is well equipped with T-Tech printed circuit board fabrication facilities, computer controlled milling machine, lathe, 3D printer, and other workshop tools.

Full electro-mechanical prototypes can be fabricated in this facility. We can manufacture physical prototypes in wood, aluminium, plastics, and mild steel; we are able to build surface mounted electronic systems. There are a comprehensive set of tools to support the development of Texas Instruments MSP430 microprocessor-based systems. To complement this, the workshop has a broad suite of electronic diagnostic equipment.


World leaders in augmented reality and wearable computer research.

Key Customers

  • GM Holden
  • Intel
  • DSTO