Speakers from a variety of sectors and research areas will explain and exhibit their applications of virtual reality at the event on 27 June

Businesses invited to explore virtual reality in Cornwall

From health and social care to training and gaming, Cornish businesses are invited to explore the uses of virtual reality at a free, interactive event at the University of Exeter’s Truro Campus.

Virtual Reality (VR): Learn, Experience, Imagine will demonstrate the cutting-edge applications of this emerging technology and explore its potential uses in industry and academia in the future.

Speakers from a variety of sectors and research areas will explain and exhibit their applications of virtual reality at the University of Exeter event on 27 June.

Emma Seymour, Impact and Partnership Development Manager at the University of Exeter Medical School in Truro said: “We hope that this event will not only demonstrate the amazing, diverse uses of virtual reality, but also start conversations about how this technology could be applied to a whole range of sectors, in ways that haven’t even been considered yet.”

University of Exeter scientist Dr Sam Vine will be giving a presentation and demonstration of his work with Cineon Training at the event. This training and technology organisation uses virtual reality to provide training for ‘safety-critical’ jobs.

He said: “We have been researching simulated training in surgical, military and aviation settings for some years, and we have now developed the capability to create our own simulations in Virtual reality headsets. We then work with experts to do develop training curricula using these simulations, and our expertise as Psychologists and trainers. We hope to apply this technology and approach to ‘safety critical’ and high pressure industries, and improve the quality of training’

“Attendees of the event in Truro will get the chance to experience virtual reality in an Oculus head set, and also some 360-degree films displayed in headsets using smart phones. Guests can experience the pressure of diffusing a bomb, the thrill of walking with dinosaurs and the calm experience of drifting down a river in a boat. We will also show some of our specific simulations including a nuclear reactor, an interview scenario and a completive sporting competition”

Many of the exhibitors and speakers will demonstrate and discuss the uses of virtual reality in healthcare and medicine.

University of Exeter researcher Nicola Yeo will give a talk on her work with BlueHealth. She said: “A wide range of evidence suggests contact with nature can improve both physical and mental health and wellbeing. However, not everyone is able to readily access natural environments- for example care home residents, people with long-term disabilities/physical impairments or those in palliative care settings.

“Our research aims to ‘bottle’ health benefits for these groups, by delivering nature indoors via virtual reality technology. We’re currently testing to optimise a series of 360 degree nature videos. Once completed, these films will allow for exceptionally immersive experiences of natural environments such as coasts, rivers and forests. VR technology is advancing so rapidly that attending events such as this is one of the best ways to keep up to date.”

Other exhibitors include London-based startup, Dual Good Health, who will show how virtual reality can make CPR training accessible.

However, it is not just health care and medicine on the agenda - Gateguards UK will be attending, who make full size replica aircrafts for the film and TV industry, museums and the MOD/Royal Navy and who provide pilots and instructors with the experience of flying an F-35.

Companies using virtual reality for gaming and animation will also be present.

The event has been developed in partnership with Smartline, a 3 year project funded by the European Regional Development Fund, with additional funding from South West Academic Health Science Network. Smartline is an exciting partnership project to develop new technologies inspired by wellbeing needs of local communities.

Virtual Reality (VR): Learn, Experience, Imagine will be held on Tuesday 27 June from 14:00 to 18:00 in the Knowledge Spa, Truro. The event is free, but booking is required. Register now to reserve your place.

Date: 23 June 2017

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