Category Archives: Virtual Reality

VR – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Head of School of SimVis will be giving this illustrated talk at BBC Scotland as part of Digtial Cities Glasgow week in March:

Everywhere we look we see the resurgence of VR which, in the last 24 months, seems to have become ubiquitous within our society. Even the mannequins in the shop windows, clad in the latest fashions, have HMDs strapped to their heads. VR is everywhere, from classrooms to therapy couches to TV adverts and bargain buckets in the local petrol station.

VR is being pushed as the modern-day panacea for all our ills and commercial challenges. We’ve been here before and this time we’re in a much stronger place from a technological point of view but there’s still so many improvements we can make and pitfalls we must avoid. We must be mindful not to force the square VR peg into the real world round hole; VR really isn’t for everyone.

In this talk I’ll touch on the wonders of VR, the good. But I’ll also talk about the pitfalls, the bad and the ugly. What do we need to watch out for? What are the real negatives of VR both from a social and physiological perspective? And importantly, what advances are we likely to see in the coming years.

Date and Time: Fri, March 17, 2017, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM GMT

Location: BBC Scotland, 40 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1DA

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digital-cities-glasgow-vr-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-tickets-32181979166

Apply now for Masters Study in Games & VR, Sound, Heritage, Medical Vis

Apply now for final places on Masters study at GSA’s Digital Design Studio.

We currently still have a small number of places available on our Masters programmes for study starting this September:

More on how to apply on the GSA website.

Enquiries to a.mcallister@gsa.ac.uk

 

Virtual Reality: One Day Short Course – 13th April

VIRTUAL REALITY: TEMPORARY DISTRACTION OR REAL OPPORTUNITY

Latest Date: 13th April 2017, Glasgow

Register Here

A one-day, non-technical professional training course for managers. Understand the true capabilities and cost advantages of VR and realise its full potential within your organisation.

Further dates are now available here with courses running in October and November.

VR has been around for decades but recent technical advances have caused a huge surge in popularity within the last 24 months. Haven’t we been here before?  Is this yet another failed push by the tech companies with gimmicky technology crying out for real-world applications? Or, have we reached a tipping point similar to the birth of the web in the early 90’s where it’s now time to get on board or be left behind? Given the huge investment in VR by Facebook, Nokia, Microsoft and Samsung it’s imperative that you and your company are ‘VR aware’.

This one-day, strategic, non-technical course will present an unbiased review of VR technology. It will explain and clarify the benefits of VR together with the true costs required to develop effective VR applications. It will consider in detail the critical success factors for implementing VR projects exploring why some have been successful whilst others have failed. Delegates will also get to experience state-of-the-art VR equipment during the event.

Who should attend?

This course is targeted at potential users of Virtual Reality, specifically sales and marketing managers, product development managers, product design professionals, strategic policy makers and those seeking to better understand how VR may give them a competitive edge. It will explain the emerging business opportunities, costs and timescales of VR development.

Attendees may also include managing directors, board members, operations managers, technical directors, heads of business architecture, consultants, or those keen to understand more about VR and its potential impact on their business.

This training day is priced at £150+VAT and includes the training event, lunch, VR demonstrations and printed materials.

Each event is limited to 15 places. Training will take place at the Digital Design Studio within the heart of Glasgow’s Digital Media Quarter.

Bio

The training course will be run by Dr Paul Chapman, Acting Head of the Digital Design Studio. Paul is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the British Computer Society and member of the RSE Young Academy. He has been working professionally within the field of computer graphics and VR since 1996.

For further information please contact Avril McAllister (A.McAllister@gsa.ac.uk)

Feedback from participants

100% of delegates rate the VR training event as Excellent or Very Good.

“Thoroughly enjoyed the one day course, great introduction to VR, course trainers were fantastic at answering our questions. However what this course really did was put into perspective the potential future VR applications, and how our manufacturing R&D research centre can get further involved with VR.”
Christine Dent, Advanced Forming Research Centre (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

“Very useful and interesting introduction to the VR technology. A highly interactive course that promoted understanding and discussions on opportunties to implement VR within our organisation”.
Nicola Zuelli Forming Team Leader at the Advanced Forming Research Centre (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

“The presenter is a fountain of knowledge with all things VR and AR. The course is valuable to anyone with or without prior knowledge of the subject as it is peppered with lots of little knowledge bombs throughout!”
Andrew Dobbie, Founder, MadeBrave

“This is an excellent course to understand VR; where it has come from, where it is and where it may be going to and how to use it.”
Duncan McArthur Director of Professional Activities The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

“An excellent course giving a very good grounding in the history of VR and the potential uses of VR.”
Chris McGregor, Historic Environment Scotland

If you are curious about the potential for VR to improve or affect your business, then this course is an excellent starting point for your enquiry.”
123Stephen Roe. Theatre-Work UK.

“Great introduction to the possibilities and limitations of VR for the non-expert. Very useful.”
Dr Peter Hohenstein, The Roslin Institute

“A highly informative session providing an in-depth overview of the exciting and varied applications of this VR technology. The diversity of attendees made for a very informative day with good networking opportunities.”
Rosalie Menon, Senior Lecturer, Architectural Technology.

“Coming to the course I wasn’t really clear what VR even was… by the end, not only did I understand VR, its origins and developments, but I also had a really good grasp of how and where VR could usefully be applied in all sorts of different contexts.. all in a matter of hours! I could not recommend this course more highly.”
Polly Christie GSA Archives and Collections

Note: dedicated tailor made courses for companies are also available. Contact AvrilMcAllister for more info.

A New Way to Manipulate Sound: Transforming Transformation

The DDS, in collaboration with Birmingham Conservatoire’s Integra Lab, have completed work on their Transforming Transformation project – a new human-centred approach that allows musicians and sound designers to manipulate sound through a 3D virtual environment.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Transforming Transformation enables sound sources to be “touched”, “grabbed”, “dragged”, and “placed” within a 3D virtual environment. Through this system, a sound source’s real-world location corresponds to its spatial position within a virtual acoustic space that can be manipulated. In other words, if a sound designer wants a sound to appear to come from behind the listener, they just “pick it up” and “move it to the back” of the virtual space.

With the initial work on the project complete, the project team plans to continue to refine the virtual environment and address any key issues identified in the project, and we wish them continued success!

More information on the  development  of Transforming Transformation can be found here, and you can also read about the projects published results here.

Open Evening: February 2016

Open Evening at Digital Design Studio, Wednesday 17 February 2016

An opportunity to visit the Digital Design Studio here at Pacific Quay, Glasgow and chat with the lecturers involved with our Masters programmes:

  • MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy
  • M.Des in Sound for the Moving Image
  • MSc in Visualisation (International Heritage)
  • MSc in Visualisation (Serious Games and Virtual Reality)

Academic Staff will be available from 1730hrs to 1930hrs that evening to meet with students interested in these programmes.  Additionally we will include a short demonstration of our 3D capability in our purpose-built laboratory early in the evening.

More information here.

Finally a Reality: Real Problems, Virtual Solutions

In this TEDx talk, Dr. Paul Chapman, Deputy Director of the DDS, takes us on a journey describing how immersive systems, virtual reality, and computer graphics have progressed over the years. Paul also describes a ground-breaking international 3D scanning project and the creation of an immersive Battle of Bannockburn experience. This work is in collaboration with our colleagues at Historic Scotland.

Paul Chapman at TEDx Heriott Watt University

MSc Serious Games and Virtual Reality

We’re happy to announce that the Serious Games masters programme is now the MSc in Serious Games and Virtual Reality. This name change coincides with the introduction of part-time study.

Our Virtual Reality research fellow Dr. Matthieu Poyade ‘s class in Motion Capture and Interaction is the heart of the Virtual Reality component of the masters – giving students the opportunity to work with modern head mounted displays (HMD) such as Oculus Rift, consumers focussed motion tracking technologies such as Kinect and Leap Motion, high-end motion tracking with Vicon, and room-sized virtual reality environments.

As well as developing software for companies such as 3D Systems, Dr Poyade has been active in Virtual Reality research for several years, and his Unity3D plug-in for working with haptics is now being used by research groups world-wide, available on the Unity Asset store.

Beyond this course, students learn about current research in serious games applications, and have the opportunity to develop for a mix of desktop, mobile and virtual and augmented reality platforms.

You can apply for the course now to start in September 2015, for full or part-time study.

How to apply

Fees and Finance

Funded Masters Study

There are a number of places available for funded Masters study at the Digital Design Studio for study in 2015-16.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early to try to secure these places!

On all programmes there are a number of SFC (Scottish Funding Council) fee-waivers available – these cover the full costs of fees for Scottish (ordinarily resident in Scotland, not Scottish by birth!) and EU citizens. Additionally, there are a number of scholarships available – these vary, but mostly cover a portion of fees.

Notable this year are British Council supported GREAT scholarships which make a significant contribution to fees for students from India.

We currently still have limited funded places available on all of the Masters programmes:

You can learn more about the SFC funding here, and scholarships here.

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.