The University of Hull have recently launched a mixed reality (MR) accelerator with the remit of promoting collaboration between industry and academia to developer commercial applications for Microsoft HoloLens. Designed to help fast-track the adoption of MR technology and build participating students towards being experts in the technology. The MR accelerator will allow 24 of the University’s computer science and digital media students to work alongside global brands.
The accelerator is lead by VISR, a company founded in 2015 by veteran Xbox videogame developer Luis Deane and his business partner Lindsay West. Both were one of the earliest Microsoft MR partners in Europe. Some of the companies that the program work with include car manufacturer Audi, drinks brand AB InBev and the energy company Centrica. These companies have been exploring how best to leverage the new immersive technology in order to improve communication, efficiency, safety and product quality.
“As a University, it’s important for us to not only lead from the front when it comes to cutting-edge technologies, but also to look at how those technologies allow us to create ever more skilled and work-ready graduates.” Explains John Hemingway, Director of ICT at the University of Hull talking to Forbes. “What we’ve created marks the first HoloLens accelerator of its kind, giving some of our brightest students the opportunity to work alongside a number of leading brands to help solve real-life problems.”
The program is currently through its nine-week cycle and Hemingway explained that some very exciting concepts have started to take shape within the program. The hope is that these will bring widespread adoption of the immersive technology one step closer. As explained by Leila Martine, Microsoft’s Product Marketing Director: “In this era of profound digital disruption, the majority of industries will experience significant change within two years. It is therefore vital that technology partners and universities come together to create a streamlined approach for the creation of meaningful proof of concepts, which can be quickly tested and return-on-investment (ROI) validated in a way that can then be taken forward by an organization and integrated into their existing business processes.”
As the University of Hull’s MR accelerator program continues to bridge the gap between industry and academia, both sides are working towards a wider adoption of the technology alongside training the next generation of developers. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest from the university and the program in the future so stay tuned for more.