Virtual Reality Project
A small project team has been formed to investigate Virtual Reality (VR) technology, to determine how the University Libraries may interact with the technology and how we could use the technology to best serve our users.
The University Libraries will deliver a VR project that aims to:
- expose University Libraries staff to VR technology;
- build University Libraries’ VR knowledge;
- demonstrate the application of VR to an academic library environment;
- disseminate knowledge of VR to the University community;
- demonstrate applications of VR to staff and students;
- establish the University Libraries’ as an accessible point of reference for VR;
- pilot VR services of possible relevance to LOTF;
- promote the University Libraries with particular focus on the experience of the Barr Smith Library Reading Room, and the University Libraries’ role in developing users’ information literacy skills.
A two phase project is proposed, to allow delivery of multiple approaches to VR services.
With the conclusion of phase 2, the library’s VR Project has now ended. Below are the links to our experiments with 360 video and with VR demonstration software. Both experiences were successfully completed and most importantly the documentation for each phase has been compiled and may now be accessed. We hope the recording of these early experiments in Virtual Reality may be used by others to ease their introduction into the technology.
A summary report has been created for review providing an overview of each stage of the project from inception to conclusion, discussing lessons learnt challenges encountered and possible opportunities for future projects.
We would like to thank the Technology Services, Learning Innovation Studio, and Marketing and Communications teams for all their assistance. As well as the wonderful academics who chose to discuss the topics with us during the project.
Please view University Libraries VR Report for more information.
Phase one incorporates the delivery of 360° film-based experiences based in and around the Barr Smith Library, using equipment and digitisation services provided by Technology Services. The resulting videos will be made publicly accessible and available for download, with potential use in promotion to prospective and international students.
The second phase will explore the creation of an information literacy experience. Using freely available Unreal Engine 4 and Unity development platforms, an experience will be created in which the user interacts with representations of information resources, gamifying concepts of information literacy. This experience will be iteratively created with input from the Learning and Research team, to raise awareness of the application of VR. The experience will be made available with accompanying documentation outlining the creation process, thereby stimulating further creative efforts.