As part of the European City of Science, visitors explored Manchester’s science heritage in a virtual reality tour using Samsung Gear VR at the Manchester Arndale.
As part of the experience, visitors took part in a Virtual Reality Experience research study by Dr. Timothy Jung, Dr. Dario tom Dieck and Dr. M. Claudia tom Dieck from the University’s Augmented and Virtual Reality Hub. The study aim is to explore if virtual reality entices visitors to become more active in Manchester’s science events and history.
The VR film was produced by Peter Woodbridge from Manchester School of Art who developed the content for the application. During the VR experience users can explore Manchester’s canals, have a look around heritage sites from Hiltons’ Cloud 23 or learn more about Cancer Research UK. The use of Samsung’s 360 degree cameras to shoot the footage brings users from the real into a virtual world.
Manchester Met students from the School of Tourism, Events and Hospitality Management and other departments were part of the three days event to showcase the application.
Overall, this VR experience is part of a wider public engagement initiative as part of the Manchester Beacons Project, a collaboration between University of Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University and SparkCompass
The event was organised with the European City of Science Public Engagement Team (Sarah Rowland, Producer European City of Science Programme, Marketing Manchester) and Samsung UK who sponsored new Galaxy S7 handsets and GearVR headsets.