UNSW's iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, established in 2002, is an interdisciplinary art, science and technology centre spanning the Faculties of the College of Fine Arts, Engineering, Arts & Social Science, Law and Science.
It is a research facility on the cutting edge of technology along with a significant international profile in the arts.
There is ongoing research into the field of safety training in simulation as well as architectural 3D visualisation. iCinema's artworks are regularly presented at art exhibitions and cultural events worldwide.
The majority of iCinema's engineering staff are UNSW CSE Alumni. They work in a range of different fields, from digital media creation through game engine Programming to hardware design and specification.
Many projects seamlessly integrate the virtual reality world with the real world, whether it be immersing people in a three dimensional space using stereoscopic vision or tracking a person's movements via computer vision to allow them to interface directly with virtual objects and characters.
Work is also done in artificial intelligence to create believable virtual characters and in clustering technologies to drive large, synchronised rendering environments.
One of iCinema’s projects presents a fully immersive and visually and audio realistic cinematic environment that creates a complex underground and surface mining scenario. It allows up to thirty people to navigate through 7 kilometres of an underground 360-degree tunnel labyrinth and interact with over six hundred mining scenarios.
iCinema’s flagship visualisation platform, the AVIE (Advanced Visualisation Interaction Environment), can be used interactively by groups of users rather than just one person at a time. This overcomes previous limitations of other simulation environments for risk and disaster training and mitigation.
Providing a high level of realism and immersion, it allows trainees to recognise their own mine environments and matches actual working conditions.
Since 2008 Australian Coal Services Pty. Ltd. has installed five of our theatres as permanent training simulators in architecturally designed custom facilities. In 2011 it was taken up by the China Coal Technology & Engineering Group, China’s leading mine health and safety institute. It has also won a Gold IDEA award for interactive design, 2009 (USA), the world’s leading interactive design prize.