Our Virtual Reality Lab is packed with the latest immersive and interactive technologies used by the fast-moving VR industry.

All students can use the lab, academics across the University can use it for research projects, and external companies can also hire the facility. For all the latest updates from the VR lab, you can follow us on twitter, or visit vr.port.ac.uk.

Student wearing VR headset using motion capture sword
Female student in a virtual reality simulation
Augmented reality student

The virtual reality technology in the lab includes:

  • HTC Vive Pro, Vive Pro Eye and cosmos
  • Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest
  • Valve Index headset and controllers
  • Developed controllers like HoverBike and Robo J with Vive trackers (2018)
  • 8x Optitrack Flex 13 (optical motion capture system)
  • Self-paced treadmill
  • DelSys wireless EMG system
  • Haptic devices
  • Jetson TX2 (for deep learning)
  • CyberGlvoe III (wireless) and 5DT glove
  • Stereoscopic rear projected screen (4.5mx2.3m)
  • Polarised 3D TV

Services

During every teaching week, the lab is open to anyone who wants to use it. You're also welcome to get involved with any of our supervised groups, each of which is working on applications to be used within the lab.

The lab is also central to our pioneering VR research, and by academics from across the University, who want to unlock the potential of VR in their own research.

Our projects

The VR Lab is home to our interactive technology research. Our researchers look at the ways in which people interact with tech - and how this understanding can be applied to solve some of the biggest challenges facing society and the planet.

Because these projects have the potential to make such a practical difference in people's lives, they're often run in partnership with other academic disciplines, and with industry and healthcare - not just in the UK but also around the globe. As well as being published in respected journals and featured at conferences, projects have also earned the spotlight on TV, radio, and in print and online media.

Much of our research is focused on 3 specialist areas:

  • Technology-Enhanced Health and Wellbeing
  • Serious Games
  • Interactive Motion in Virtual Environments (iMoVE)

Recent projects include

RITA is an avatar - developed using entertainment technologies and VR - which might revolutionise personal healthcare, helping elderly people to live independently.

Exploring how tech can help young people in care to stay safe, recognise and manage their emotions and behaviour, and communicate more effectively with practitioners.

Working with amputees, therapists and doctors to use game technologies for managing phantom limb pain.

Helping to create an application so Bioscience students can interact with molecules using VR technologies.

Developing a design toolkit to help researchers who make bespoke applications for walking rehab in VR.

Investigating how users move in a virtual environment that's mapped on top of a physical environment.

Exploring how to make movement and interaction in a virtual environment less distorted and more natural.

Meet the team

There are 3 core members of the VR Lab team. They're supported by a host of research staff, who play vital roles in making projects happen.

Vaughan Powell is a senior lecturer in Creative Technologies. His main research interests are in VR and computer-human interaction. He takes a keen interest in applications for health and wellbeing, and the design of serious games and immersive interaction to support education and digital heritage.

Ruiying Wang has been working on visual simulation for more than two decades. In that time, her career has ranged from military simulation to cloth simulation, and she co-ran a company in Beijing which specialised in VR sports games. Ruiying has run the VR Lab at Portsmouth since 2005.

Alex Counsell is the University's Principal Technician for Creative Technologies. He's responsible for the software and hardware you might use on your course, and manages support staff in these areas. His specialist areas are motion capture, post production and visual effects for film and TV.

Where to find us

Virtual Reality Lab

Room B.09 (basement)
Eldon Building
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth
PO1 2DJ

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