VRWC-comes-to-bristolOn the day VR World Congress hits Bristol, with 600 VR enthusiasts descending on the city to learn about and try out the latest cutting-edge virtual reality tech and hear from industry leaders such as Samsung, HTC and AMD, inward investment agency Invest Bristol & Bath has produced a report showing how VR could affect our everyday lives and how the West of England has the skills to be a world leader in the field.

VR’s many applications

The ‘Work Rest and Play‘, report shows that virtual reality tech is being applied to far more fields than just gaming, with VR applications being used in education (including creating virtual crime scenes for forensics students), architectural and product design visualisation (where you can walk around a house you are considering buying before it is built, or see a product in 3D before making a buying decision), for immersive entertainment, virtual meetings and social gatherings, among many other fields.


 Impact of VR: This infographic from the report breaks down the key findings

One of the contributors to the report, Liz Falconer, Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of the West of England in Bristol (pictured left), explains “The opportunities to learn safely from simulations in virtual environments before trying things out in the physical world; opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in activities and social events that would be restricted in the physical world; opportunities for people from different countries, religions and cultures to meet regularly and share experiences and understanding without having to travel to do so – all this, and more, makes me confident and excited about the future of VR.”

“Bristol and Bath is emerging as a one of the UK’s major centres for VR development”

In producing the survey Invest Bristol & Bath surveyed 2,000 people (You can see the results of the VR Usurv survey here). It shows VR is expected to have the most impact on the gaming sector (60%) although the entertainment industry (45%) and education sector (23%) are also expected to see a significant impact. Travel (13%), defence (10%) and property/construction (9%) are also expected to see VR-related changes.

The report also finds that three quarters of people think VR will have a positive impact on their lives with men being more enthusiastic supporters than women (82% vs 69%).

rick-chapmanThis is great news for the region, which is already home to some great innovators in VR. Rick Chapman, high tech sector specialist at Invest Bristol and Bath (pictured right) says, “Bristol and Bath is emerging as a one of the UK’s major centres for VR development with our mix of skills in programming, engineering, education, design, art, television, animation. Throw in the leading-edge work being done in the Bristol and Bath universities and it’s easy to see why there is a pool of talent here.”

You can see the full Work Rest and Play VR report here and keep up to date with Invest Bristol & Bath on its Twitter feed: @investbrisbath

Jamie Middleton