Kingston University opens virtual reality training centre

Students at Kingston university now have access to a selection of virtual reality technology thanks to an investment in the institution’s tech facilities.

53k has been pumped into the new Centre for Augmented and Virtual Reality Environments (CAVE) at the university’s games lab at the Penrhyn Road campus, which offers not only VR headsets but also eye trackers and brain monitors.

We are breaking the mould with this high-spec, collaborative learning environment,” head of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics Professor Brujic-Okretic said. Having games programming students working with design students on various aspects of a project is exactly how the digital media industry works – it’s that level of inter-disciplinary work and the exchange of views that will broaden the horizons of each and every one of them and help make sure they are industry-ready.”

Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing Dr Lucy Jones added: We are very excited about the opportunities that the CAVE will offer for our staff and students. The launch showed how interested everybody was in the technology and how it could be used to significantly enhance research and teaching.”

Kingston University last year secured an educational partnership with Sony. Students Luke Parlin and Zack Bloundele have since successfully pitched a VR game to the PlayStation platform holder, which is in active development.

CAVE is also being utilised by other departments, with associate professor Vasileios Argyriou using the tech in a two-year PhD project that tests the cognitive ability of patients with early on-set Alzheimer’s.

Parlin said of Kingston’s set up: The technology is at the forefront of games design and development and for students to have access to that is amazing – it’s a major professional advantage and very few universities have these kinds of facilities.”

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