Kingston University is set to open a new multi-disciplinary facility equipped with all the latest in virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology for the use of its students.
The facility will be known as the Centre for Augmented and Virtual Reality Environments (CAVE). The new CAVE facility will be a complement to the University’s existing games lab. The objective is to create a state-of-the-art facility where students from different courses can learn together and collaborate on new projects.
Professor Vesna Brujic-Okretic, head of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics has said that VR and Ar go beyond games, noting the example of associate professor Vasileios Argyriou, who is using VR devices to test the cognitive ability of patients with Alzheimers. She said: “Having games programming students working with design students on various aspects of a project is exactly how the digital media industry works – it’s that level of inter-disciplinary work and the exchange of views that will broaden the horizons of each and every one of them and help make sure they are industry-ready.”
Some students have already benefited from Kingston University’s involvement with VR. Luke Parlin and Zack Bloundele successfully pitched a VR game to Sony, which is currently in development. Parlin was involved in the set-up of CAVE and said of the facility: “The technology is at the forefront of games design and development and for students to have access to that is amazing – it’s a major professional advantage and very few universities have these kinds of facilities.”
Dr Lucy Jones, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, said: “We are very excited about the opportunities that the CAVE will offer for our staff and students. The launch showed how interested everybody was in the technology and how it could be used to significantly enhance research and teaching.”
Kingston University joins other academic institutions such as UC Berkeley, who have recently had investment for a new VR/AR laboratory and Sheffield University, who added a VR lab to their new Diamond Building.
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