29 January 2021

Jan 2021 Newsletter Out


The January 2021 edition of our newsletter is out. In this issue:

  • Using VR for nurse training -  A case-study of our work at Bournemouth University in developing a 3D and VR simulation to help student nurses learn how to manage a diabetic patient on the ward and cope with a related emergency 
  • VR in the Training Mix  - How immersive 3D and VR stack up against more traditional approaches when it comes to addressing the needs of the "3 fidelities" of skills training
  • SocialVR Worlds - Our latest experiences inside the emerging Social Virtual Worlds such as AltSpaceVR and MozillaHubs - and what potential they might have for more serious use
  • Plus snippets of other things we've been up to in the last 3 months - including links to our presentations at the Giant Health event, and a look at our ever growing library of health training related assets.

You can download and read it here.

25 January 2021

Case Study - Social Worker Home Visits at the OU


Home visits are a key part of a social worker's life, but are notoriously hard to train for. Whilst roleplay can help the fact that the role-play is typically done in the classroom loses the immersion, and its only available when the course sets it up. Creating a home visit in VR eliminates both these issues - offering full immersion and 24/7 learning. 

Over the last year we've been helping researchers at the Open University build a home visit learning experience for their social work students, so that the students can work through a typical home visit (with support case notes and messages from colleagues) to try and work out what is going on.

The students get to talk to the mother, father and two of the children. Whilst we've used audio as well as text for the dialogues so that students can better judge emotional cues we've also implemented an "emotional barometer" alongside the chat to make plain text chat sections more able to convey the same sort of information.

You can read more about the project by downloading the case study.

18 January 2021

Case Study - Virtual Field Trips


Though we'd refresh our case study of the Virtual Skiddaw project we did for the Open University a while back. The simulation modelled 100 sqm km (!) of the UK Lake District with 6 sites modelled at about ~1cm accuracy with photogrammetry. Students can pick up hand samples, look at virtual microscope slides, fly (!) around the environment and even lift up a cross-section of the rock!

The case study is downloadable here

There are also a couple of great videos - a narrated walkthrough by the OU's geology lead on the project.

And the OU's Geology and vLearning leads discussing the project.

The app is still in use with students at the OU.

11 January 2021

Immersive 3D Visual Analytics in WebXR

Whilst this application was originally built as a side project it shows some principles and ideas which are probably worth sharing here. The application uses WebXR to display data in VR. The data is fetched from a web service, and the user can choose what data parameters are used on two of the point features, in this case size and height.  The key thing about WebXR is that it lets this visualisation run in a VR headset without any download or installs. Just point the in-built browser at the URL, click on Enter VR and the browser fades away and you are left in a 3D space with the data. 

The data itself is the star map used in the classic GDW Traveller game (think D&D in space) - but as we say the data isn't important, just the novel interaction.

To try out our Data Visualisation in WebXR just use the browser in your WebXR compatible VR headset to get to this page, and then click on the link below. Once the new page loads just click on the Enter VR button. 

Traveller 3D Map

​Note that whilst the page will open in an ordinary browser you won't be able to do much. But watch the video here to get an idea:

You can also read more about 3D Immersive Visual Analytics and the differences between allocentric and egocentric visualisation in our white paper