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Innovation Pilot Theme: Immersive Innovation

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies are breaking out of the gaming industry and have exciting applications in other areas. From education to housing, and from visual impairment to dance theatre, the projects in this category each explore the use of immersive tech within unexpected and inspiring scenarios.

Adabee: An Augmented Reality & Cloud Based e-Learning Kit for Inspiring Youth Uptake of Coding & Making Skills

AdaBee is a new generation classroom pet and educational kit aimed at inspiring 9 to 12-year-olds to engage with coding and making. The project will create an interactive device that can be safely disassembled and expanded with additional sensors and boards, either as collective or individual student projects. Separately, AdaBee can be scanned by each student to access an interactive, mixed-reality, cloud-based mobile digital learning platform. On this platform, students will be able to explore AdaBee’s hardware assembly using an Augmented Reality (AR) App and interact with its software to learn writing or editing code. The project represents a novel, interdisciplinary adoption of AR, Cloud and Internet of Things technologies.

AdaBee has potential to transform the e-Learning applications of these technologies and create an experience for secondary school level students and teachers that will encourage playful, exploratory learning.

Applying Digital Technologies to Create New Ways of Designing, Manufacturing & Selling Clothing

This project will bring together academics and specialists from the creative digital sector with clothing designers and manufacturers to create a new digital platform. This platform will enable design and showcasing of clothing products using 3D design tools, advanced manufacturing tools, and the use of virtual and augmented reality.

Making this technology accessible to smaller-scale regional companies on a co-developed platform could enhance their capability and could re-energise the local industry, enabling the North East to compete on a global scale.

Augmented Reality for the Sight Impaired

This project will develop an Augmented Reality application which will allow visually impaired people to better interact with the world around them. Using accessible washrooms as the setting for this proof of concept pilot, the app will use the principles of AR to help the visually impaired safely navigate unfamiliar spaces.
This project combines AR expertise from Spearhead Interactive and knowlege of the accessible washroom sector from Nymas with clinical expertise through Teesside University’s Healthcare Innovation Centre and South Tees NHS trust. Strategic Design thinking will also be led by Teesside University and be partnered by Northumbria University.

The predicted outcomes of this project include an improved understanding of partially sighted user needs and a proof of principle application that will help users navigate unfamiliar environments, a pilot business model to examine the commercial implementation of the innovation, and the formation of a research nexus, combining design thinking with clinical expertise.

Exploring the Relevance of Immersive Technologies for Housing, Health & Social Care

This project will identify opportunities for immersive technologies to be used with the business operations of a local integrated housing, health and social care organisation. Digital SMEs will be invited to respond to a challenge brief based on the opportunities identified.

Directions of interest could include training for staff in handling sensitive situations; assistive technologies for older users; and applications of AR/VR for younger people with complex social needs. The project will culminate in a workshop showcasing solutions from technology SMEs.

The View from There

How can immersive technologies within cultural experience bring people together to examine societal challenges? This project explores the ways that Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies enhance the link between culture and innovation.

This project is a collaboration between Southpaw Dance Company, digital SMEs, Teesside University and the University of Sunderland. Envisioned as the first steps within a multi-year, multi-channel cultural innovation project, “The View From There” aims to co-create a prototype process with artists, technologists, academics and the public to demonstrate the value of different perspectives, and of participating in societal debate;Explore how culture helps us to articulate our questions about the systems surrounding us; and test how we can uncover solutions to societal challenges and how we might collaborate to deliver these solutions.

The View From There will invite participants to come together around the potential of immersive technologies to enhance participation and connect cultural experience directly to societal challenges.

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