To many people the institution of the Brownies and Girl Guides is something rooted in the past, but that doesn’t stop them from embracing new technology. As demonstrated with a pack of Brownies and Guides based in Cornwall who have been given the honour of received the world’s first badge in virtual reality (VR).
Members of the Saltash District Brownies and Guides were given the special badge for helping to design garden scenes for virtual reality developers.
Brownies and Girls Guides organisations date back to the early part of the 20th Century, with some organisations boasting a lineage dating back to 1909 and have been a feature of childhood in the UK for many people.
The involvement of the Saltash Guides with VR began last year when a group of scientists visited the Guides and issued a challenge for the Guides to create a poster depicting a virtual world they would wish to explore.
From these designs, a virtual garden environment was created by developers, which is now being used in hospitals to help entertain and distract children who are suffering from serious or chronic pain.
Professor Bob Stone, director of the Human Interface Technologies Team at the University of Birmingham headed up the project, and returned to award the Saltash Guides and Brownies with their unique badges.
He said: “The original event was a huge success, and allowed girls of all ages not only to experience technologies they may never have seen in their lives, but to show them how they might contribute as scientists and technologists of the future,”
He continued: “The original event was a huge success, and allowed girls of all ages not only to experience technologies they may never have seen in their lives, but to show them how they might contribute as scientists and technologists of the future. I think that the range of VR demos we brought down with us – from exploring caves and discovering historic fossils to seeing how we used drones to create 3D models of Dartmoor heritage – really captured their imaginations.”
The University of Birmingham team hope that this will encourage other Brownies and Guides units to embrace VR technology. For other news on VR and immersive technology from around the world, keep checking back with VRFocus.