In this special lunchtime talk we were joined by three founding residents of Bristol VR Lab, a brand new shared workspace for companies exploring virtual, augmented and mixed reality.


Go Virtually

Rachael Godfrey’s company Go Virtually produces 360-degree video for tours, allowing the user to virtually visit a place before physically going there. These tours can be used to help sell residential properties to potential buyers, for hotels to promote rooms and events spaces to customers. Rachel has even made one of the Bristol VR Lab! The tour works similarly to Google Map’s street view function, you click to navigate where you want to go through the space. The cameras used to create these tours also measure the width and depth of the space enabling the user to view the layout of the property as well. Another cool feature is doll house mode, where you can view an isometric projection of the entire property from any angle you choose. This feature is particularly useful for care homes as residents and families can locate where the nearest toilet is or the nearest quiet space is from their location. Experiencing these tours beforehand can help autistic individuals feel comfortable about a space before visiting, Rachel is currently working with We The Curious to make their first autism friendly virtual tour. 


Nick Inoue’s company Substrike enhances the experience of music and media through cutting edge haptic technology. Nick has invented a haptic chair that sends infrasonic vibrations through your body as you experience sound and motion in VR. The name is the combination of ‘Sub’ referring to sub-woofer and ‘strike’ to hit or impact. Emotion in Motion is the tagline. Nick has been working on this project over the past ten years, the seed of the idea came when he was in halls at university, where the walls were paper thin and Nick had a love for loud music. Needless to say, the two weren’t compatible! Nick experimented with speaker placement to allow people to ‘feel’ the music. Nick’s vision is to allow people to experience audio on a level they’ve never experienced it before. Whether you’re listening to classical music, an action-packed film or game, all forms of content contain infra-sonic frequencies; vibrations that are below our hearing range. SubStrike is optimized to target these very low bass frequencies, from audible 300 Hertz, all the way down to the inaudible 3 Hertz.

Biome Productions

Rollo Wood and Ted Savile introduced us to their natural history 360° video production company Biome Productions. The team formed after discovering VR while studying Bio Medicine at University of Bristol. Bristol is animal capital of the UK and VR and Biome's goal is to harness Virtual Reality and 360° film to transport viewers from their living room into the wild. They believe that the most emotive and visually stunning stories are told by nature itself. Their first film A Day in Djuma is a live safari 360 production which took around a month of filming. The goal was to reproduce a day in a wildlife safari and they created the world’s first infrared 360 camera to make it. Their second production Wild Tour, used a presenter to see how that changes the experience. A friendly presenter to guides you through the journey, breaks barriers of immersion. What’s interesting is the impact these films have on policy making and the impact it has on decisions and legislation. Some of Biome’s biggest frustrations is keeping up the with camera technology, having to think about frame rates, battery life and whether the cameras are baboon proof! 

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