The University of Northampton places £1.5 million order with Virtalis
The university of Northampton has ordered a unique, five sided ActiveCube and two StereoWorks ActiveWalls from Virtalis. The £1.5 million order represents half the value of the equipment for the University’s new, £8 million NVision Centre. Grants for the prestigious facility have been secured in the form of matched funding from the East Midlands Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund, with further financial support from Northamptonshire Enterprise Ltd.
Stuart Wayne, NVision’s Manager, explained: “During the next five years, we expect to bring the power of Virtual Reality (VR) to over five hundred small and medium businesses in the East Midlands. The University saw the acquisition of the impressive Kingsley Park building for its School of Science and Technology as an opportunity to not just disseminate knowledge to our students, but to the wider community as well.
“The three Virtalis systems will give us three separate facilities with powerful capabilities, all underpinned by high performance computing from SGI and projection equipment from Christie Digital. Our incredibly high resolution Virtalis StereoWorksKingsley Park at University of Northampton ActiveCube will be the only one of its kind in the country, while for bigger groups, our 6m x 3m StereoWorks ActiveWall, powered by Virtalis immersive display software, will generate an inspiring 3D stereo experience for up to 75 people at a time. Our smaller StereoWorks ActiveWall will be tucked away in the basement and is intended for sensitive research, product design, marketing and small scale customer presentations.”
Already the NVision team has attracted two research projects keen to use the Virtalis technology. The first will analyse and endeavour to optimise how architects and builders can collaborate to create more sustainable buildings.
The second project will use VR to develop virtual laparoscopy, an area in which Virtalis already has considerable expertise. Students studying engineering, environmental science and computing will all benefit from having some of their course content delivered in 3D.
Wayne commented: “With such advanced visualisation technology, we aim to make ourselves as accessible as possible and are already in talks with automotive companies, for example, about how they can use our facilities for interactive design reviews. The main reason we chose Virtalis is because they have the experience and expertise to support us while we develop our offering, not just with their immersive displays, but in developing specialist software applications that will benefit our students and the wider business community.”
University of Northampton Website