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Virtual Reality at HSLS


Falk Library is pleased to provide a new way to connect our Pitt health sciences community with simulations and applications utilizing cutting-edge VR technology. Available programs include study aids for health sciences students, along with simpler scenarios for those who are interested in trying out virtual reality.

Available VR Systems

HSLS is proud to offer a variety of virtual reality systems that provide a range of experiences for both new and experienced users of VR equipment. 

Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest is a standalone system that does not require a connection to a gaming PC. If you've never tried VR before, Oculus Quest is a great place to start, as it is a user-friendly system with a low learning curve. If you have tried VR before, you'll still want to check out the Oculus Quest. Its enhanced graphics and haptics give a seamless playing experience that is rare to find in VR systems.

The library has three Oculus Quest headsets featuring a variety of medical education apps, as well as other introductory immersive experiences and games. For a full list of available apps, see the Oculus Quest Apps page.

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft's HoloLens is an advanced virtual reality headset designed specifically for applications in business, industry, and healthcare. The HoloLens is a standalone system that is not used in conjunction with a gaming PC. In the HoloLens environment, there are no gaming controllers; instead, you interact directly with 3D holograms through voice, touch, and hand gestures. When using the HoloLens, players can always see both their environmental surroundings and virtual images, which makes this an ideal system for those new to virtual worlds. 

The library currently has one HoloLens headset available for borrowing featuring a variety of medical education apps, with more on the way. For a full list of available apps, see the Microsoft HoloLens Apps page.

HTC Vive

HSLS's HTC Vive Pro 2 is coming soon! Watch this space for updates.

Borrowing Information & Policies

Borrowing Information

Visit the Technology Help Desk on Falk Library's upper floor to borrow any of HSLS's virtual reality headsets with your valid Pitt ID.

Each headset comes with a detailed user guide, and the Technology Help Desk assistant is available to answer questions while you play. If you would prefer a one-on-one instructional experience instead of self-guided learning, please contact the Technology Help Desk to schedule a consultation.

All VR systems are to be used in the designated VR space on the library's upper floor next to the Technology Help Desk. The VR space includes two graphically enhanced gaming PCs that can be used with all available headsets, excluding the Microsoft HoloLens, which is a completely untethered experience.

Borrowing Policies

  • A valid Pitt ID is required to borrow the virtual reality equipment (gold cards excluded).
  • Virtual reality equipment may be borrowed for a four hour loan period.
  • All VR systems are to be used in the designated VR space on the library's upper floor. 
  • Patrons are responsible for the condition and full return of borrowed equipment. Equipment that is not returned, stolen, or damaged will be subject to item replacement fees.
  • Clean the equipment with the provided wipes before and after each use.
  • Read all tutorials and documentation before using the virtual reality equipment.

Using the Equipment Safely and Comfortably

​To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience, there's a few things you should remember:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings before starting and while using the equipment. Only use the equipment in the library's designated VR area. Use caution to avoid injury.
  • Take breaks often, especially if you are a new user. We recommend a 10-15 minute break for every 30 minutes of gameplay.
  • Some people may experience discomfort such as nausea, motion sickness, dizziness, disorientation, headache, fatigue, or eye strain, particularly as they adjust to using the equipment.
  • To reduce the risk of discomfort, adjust the headset straps and lens position as needed to create a single, clear image.
  • If you experience discomfort, stop using the device and rest until you feel better.
  • This equipment may emit radio waves that could affect the operation of nearby electronic medical devices. If you have an implanted medical device, consult your doctor before using this equipment.
  • Clean the equipment with the provided wipes before and after each use.

Additional information is available through the Oculus Safety Center and Microsoft's Safety Warnings.

More Information

Contact the Technology Help Desk to request more information about VR at HSLS, ask questions, or suggest a software title to purchase.