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Free Virtual Reality Experience Day on Thursday

31 October 2023

Virtual Reality event

Anyone wanting to find out how Virtual Reality (VR) can improve their health, help train staff, or inspire students in education, should get along to Northampton Central Library on Thursday, 2 November.

Entitled ‘The Future of Virtual Reality is Now: VR Experience Day,’ this pop-in event between 9.30am and 3pm has been organised by Digital Northants in conjunction with West Northamptonshire Council and numerous companies which work with Virtual Reality.

Kardi Somerfield, UON Senior Lecturer in advertising and digital marketing, will be showing student work at the event.

Each year we develop a virtual reality scenario as a live client project, so our students are doing assessed work but they're also learning how to use the VR kits. We create VR on behalf of our clients who are the Campus Safety team and the Police Fire & Crime Commissioner’s Office.

Our students have been filming and learning how to film in 360 which is new to them. They've not touched this kit at all before and they're not media students, they are digital marketers, so we really are using it in a sort of out of box plug and play way and they're working up towards an assessed project with this kit.

The RiVR kit was provided to use by the OFPCC and is quite user-friendly. It’s important to experiment with unfamiliar technology as this is a key skill for digital marketers – as well as being fantastic for the students to have on their CVs.

It's also great for us from a learning and teaching perspective and we're hoping to be able to develop some competencies in the university in a cross-faculty way because we recognise that this is one of the tools we'd like to be using more.
Kardi Somerfield, UON Senior Lecturer in advertising and digital marketing

In addition to the UON students’ Safer Streets project, other applications on show this Thursday include:

  • Culture and Heritage – The Compton Verney Art Gallery and Museum demonstrate how they use VR to enhance the experience of their visitors
  • Psychotherapies - A team of game developers, VR designers and psychologists from the University have teamed up with St Andrews Healthcare and Cardinal Clinic to improve their treatment options and quality of life using VR and game design
  • Health and therapy - VR Therapies is an award-winning social enterprise based in Northampton, dedicated to improving people’s mental health, wellbeing and rehabilitation through innovative, immersive sensory experiences
  • Special Educational Needs - Students in West Northants have taken part in a trial which uses VR technology to support them to travel independently to, and from school
  • Flight Beyond Sight – Born from the aviation training sector, Flight Beyond Sight has a wealth of training delivery experience developing low-cost solutions to complex training problems
  • CardioCrown - envisions a world where patients have the tools they need to achieve their best possible recovery, regardless of their location, income, or access to healthcare facilities
We are delighted to be hosting this Virtual Reality Experience Day at Northampton Central Library which gives people an opportunity to try out this technology first hand.

This project demonstrates how VR technology can assist with a wide variety of scenarios; from health and learning to heritage and culture. I encourage everyone to pop in to Northampton Central Library this Thursday and experience a taste of the future.
Councillor Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of WNC and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure

For more information, visit the Digital Northants website.

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