The 5G-powered solution offers users over 3,000 interactive simulated experiences, from swimming with whales beneath the sea to driving factory forklift trucks
Today, BT has announced the launch of their Immersive Spaces solution, in partnership with virtual training specialist Immersive Interactive.
The Immersive Spaces use projectors to create interactive walls and floors, which can then display any of over 3,000 interactive experiences that are stored in the cloud. Users can interact directly with the experiences by touching the walls, from answering a multiple-choice questionnaire to navigating through a virtual world.
Additional senses can also be incorporated to make the experiences even more immersive, such as the use of smells and emerging haptic technology. The spaces are also compatible with virtual reality, augmented reality, and extended reality technologies and can be used to live-stream video.
Finally, users will be able to create their own tailor-made experiences using the platform, such as bespoke classroom or training experiences.
Speaking to journalists at a live demonstration at BT headquarters earlier this week, Ian Robertson, Technical Principal 5G Solutions at BT, explained that the Immersive Space could be specifically designed and deployed within a dedicated location, like a classroom, or delivered as a temporary mobile unit. Robertson explained that the mobile space – seen in image above – could be folded down to load on a flat-bed truck, with an effective deployment time of under an hour once it reached its location.
“Immersive Spaces bring together EE’s unrivalled connectivity with the very best immersive tech – combining the real and digital worlds to create new benefits for business and public sector organisations,” said Alex Foster, Director at Division X – BT’s business innovation team.
“This technology has the potential to be a game changer for training and development in any industry. Putting the power of immersive content into the hands of customers allows people to experience learning in a completely new way that is targeted specifically to their needs – which can significantly improve information retention and problem-solving skills. It can also enrich remote sales experiences, add a new layer to gaming and sports, and transport people virtually to any location, anywhere, during any point in history.”
While the potential of this technology is surely enormous – with BT exploring use cases for education, healthcare, retail, transport, tourism, manufacturing, construction, and sport – initial interest seems to be driven largely by training and education applications.
Indeed, BT has already deployed its Immersive Spaces at schools – Borders College in Galashiels, Scotland and Cadoxton Primary School in South Wales – with encouraging results.
“The children absolutely love it,” said Hannah Cogbill, senior leadership at Cadoxton Primary School. “Their favourite one so far is life under the sea. We can’t wait to explore more of the experiences and collections and then begin to develop our own content. We are looking forward to using it to support our children’s development and progression of imaginative writing. But it will also be a great scaffold to support learners with pre-experiences that they might be nervous about – for example catching a train or going on an aeroplane.”
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