DDS on the BBC World Service

A post by Daniel Livingstone, the DDS’ postgraduate programme leader

A few days ago I had the fantastic (and nerve-wracking) experience of live radio, on BBC Worldwide’s Click radio broadcast. And in front of a live audience in BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay headquaters! I sneakily took a photo of the audience before switching off my phone – just before the final group of audience members arrived. Standing room only at the back.

The audience, BBC Click
View of the audience at the live BBC Click recording

It felt like the programme was over almost as soon as it began – I had lots I wanted to say about the Scottish Ten and other DDS projects that I just didn’t manage. When pushed to answer in ten seconds how the data captured by the project is used, I somehow didn’t manage to give the example from Skara Brae, where Scottish Ten data from 2010 and data acquired by Historic Scotland in 2014 are being compared to help monitor the beach erosion that is threatening the site, and to help develop a management strategy to help protect this amazing world heritage site for future generations.

The podcast of the programme features some extra Q&A – and one of our PhD students, Jessica Argo, was able to discuss her project exploring the therapeutic use of ambisonic audio.

Getting to show the #bbcclickradio team around the DDS facilities before the programme was fun – and certainly less nerve-wracking. Gareth got to play with foley in the student recording studio, and then to experience a virtual Edinburgh in 3D – while only yards from BBC Scotland’s Glasgow headquarters.

You can listen to the programme here, or download the podcast with extra content from here (Podcast available until 12th March 2015).

Touch Haptics and HapStack

Back in January, at CES, 3D Systems launched their new Touch haptic stylus and OpenHaptics Software Developer Kit.

The Touch enables designers and developers to experience a simple, sculptural process with force feedback, providing a physical connection with their digital creations.

The DDS developed the first game for the Touch – HapStack, a block stacking game which uses both the Oculus Rift VR headset and touch stylus to really put you in the game – where you see and feel the blocks as you pick and manipulate each one.

C|Net’s Sharon Profis tried out the Touch and HapStack at CES:


Read more from the official press release here, and you can get the OpenHaptics SDK from here.

At the DDS we are more focussed on the use of haptics for training and education – but with lower price devices available, it will be interesting to see what other applications take off in the coming months and years.