Edge Hill creates VR cave

Edge Hill University is set to unveil a “super immersive 3D virtual environment”, as part of its new £13m Technology Hub when it opens next week.

The four-screen cave, a tech industry acronym standing for cave automatic virtual environment, will offer students and businesses the chance to fully immerse themselves in a virtual room.

Using real data to replicate reality, users will be able to experience real life scenarios in 4k resolution – anything from emergency situations to complex surgery and lab reactions.

The cave is part of the low-carbon tech hub building which has been built thanks to £3m of support from the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The building is due to open on 19 October housing biotechnology laboratories, big data servers for research and a lecture theatre.

Technology Hub aims to be a key resource not just for 600+ students but also employers across Lancashire and beyond, including those in the food manufacturing and digital creative industries.

Mark Allanson, pro vice-chancellor of Edge Hill University, said: “Having this dedicated facility for technology shows the University’s commitment to technological innovation, computing and bioscience and reflects our success in producing employable, highly skilled graduates who contribute to the regional economy and beyond.”

As well as catering for growing numbers of undergraduates the Technology Hub will be open to schools where pupils are unlikely to enter higher education and/or study science, technology, engineering or math subjects.

Graham Cowley of the LEP said: “The LEP is investing around £30m in a network of new, modern training facilities which will enable thousands of local people to improve their employability and provide the skilled workforce needed to achieve our ambitious strategic plan for growth.

“We’ve prioritised investing in key areas of the economy such as the creative and digital sector, which already employs tens of thousands of people, is growing rapidly and is beginning to experience skills shortages.

“Supporting world-class facilities such as Edge Hill’s Technology Hub will ensure we have a pipeline of graduates with the cutting-edge creative and digital skills needed to help transform Lancashire’s economy and drive growth for years to come.”

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