We have, of course, been reporting for a while at VRFocus on the development of virtual reality (VR) and how that development is pushing into new areas. As you’ve seen many times in this last week alone, that’s certainly not just within the realms of video games or even within the ‘entertainment’ in general. VR is being tested, developed for or is already being used in all manner of professional areas. Everything from medical use to estate agency and for industry to sports training. It is of course also being used in a number of ways for Education, and as a burgeoning field in the tech industry educational establishments are increasingly looking to cater to a growing relevance and increase in interest for VR in the technology sector.
The latest establishment to move into VR is Sheffield University, who have just announced a new VR suite on the campus as part of its Diamond Building – a state-of-the-art £81m (GBP) venue already the home of a large number of specialist engineering labs. The suite has been made possible through a new partnership with Virtalis – last reported on by VRFocus in July when they partnered with another educational establishment, Luleå University.
Features of the lab space include the following Virtalis features:
– ActiveWall display system
– Floor stereoscopic 3D system
– Christie Boxer 4K projection with ART optical tracking
– 10 high spec PCs
– Oculus Rift head-mounted displays (HMDs)
– Virtalis’ Visionary Render software
The reader software alone allows users to collaborate in real-time with immense 3D sources and according to the makers is already used by top names in the field of design such as Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.
It’s all proving immensely popular already according to one technician. Sheffield University’s Rob Stacey, “We’ve had queues out of the door at open days. Numerous research groups are now looking at involving VR in their research and it’s not just confined to engineering and CAD data either – we’ve had biochemists and medical researchers using the facilities, albeit those that are formally based within Engineering.”
“We amaze our many visitors by showing them our virtual 3D model of the Diamond after they have been on the tour of the building itself” Stacey continues. “We mainly use SolidWorks CAD and 3DS Max and we find conversion into Visionary Render very smooth.”
VRFocus will bring you more information about the continued developments of VR within the education system in the forthcoming weeks.