Essex college creates first UK XR campus
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Screen showing virtual reality projection The XTEND Campus Media Wall (credit: South East LEP)

USP College in Essex has announced plans to open what it claims is the UK’s first ‘extended reality campus’.

The XTEND Digital campus in Canvey will allow students from Unified Seevic Palmer's to “create and experience content in virtual and augmented reality”.

Due to open at Meppel Avenue in September 2021, the site will become home to the first two Teslasuits in the UK alongside other industry-leading virtual and augmented reality technology. The Teslasuit “provides outputs from haptic feedback and climate control to users, and receives inputs from motion capture and biometrics”.

The new volumetric capture studio at the campus will enable 360-degree recording around a real-life element or person that can then be imported into an extended reality programme.

A state of the art motion capture studio, alongside recording suites, infinity coves, edit suites, discovery labs and an emerging technology studio will be available in the initial phased opening of the site.

Dan Pearson, Principal and CEO at USP College, said: “At USP College, we’re focused on offering programmes and learning experiences with clear pathways into inspiring, high-end careers. Right now, the world is only just scratching the surface of what can be achieved with extended reality, and the possibilities for young people with skills in this exciting area of emerging technologies are endless.

“As the first academic institution in the UK to have this innovative technology, USP College offers the unique and invaluable opportunity for our students to not only learn the theory of extended reality development, but to put the latest developments in the field into practice on-campus.”

USP also announced plans to work alongside UK experts in virtual reality content creation including Diverse Interactive and other leading employers in the field. The college will offer use of the high-tech facilities to schools and businesses through its commercial enterprise, XTEND Digital, with a full content creation service provided by Diverse Interactive.

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