This week, Bristol VR Lab is launching the first of its Tech Play Friday events. Every Friday, until the end of August, anyone aged 18 or over who would like to head to the lab to use their equipment is welcome to do so.

Ideal for people with a bit of development experience, but that’s not essential. This is a chance to get hands-on with kit that’s often hard to come by – it might be expensive, a developer kit, or simply something you haven’t had the chance to get a go of yet.

VR Impressario, Dan Page talks about why the Bristol VR Lab is opening up their space “The aim of these events is to give the opportunity to experiment and learn to those that might not have access to the kind of kit we’re so lucky to have at Bristol VR Lab. I’m excited to see who turns up and what comes out of it – we’re expecting the events to bring some interesting people out of the woodwork and I hope we can help kick-start one or two projects along the way but most important thing is that it’s going to be a lot of fun!”

Tech Play Friday requires no prior registration, simply turn up on the day at 2 pm, but remember to respect the Lab’s residents and work at a reasonable volume.

Each week will give participants the chance to experiment with a different piece of kit owned by the lab:

27th July – HTC Vive trackers

HTC Vive trackers are essentially little trackable “pucks” people can attach to anything they like. At this event you’ll have the chance can try out some of the games that support the trackers out of the box and be given some time to figure out how to implement the trackers into the game engine of your choice.

3rd August – Perception Neuron motion capture kit

If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with motion capture kit then this is your chance. If you’ve had experience with this particular bit of kit before then it’d be a great chance for you to go along to share your knowledge, whilst getting to play in VR Lab. Maybe you’ve had a go of some other motion capture solutions and you’re wondering if the Perception Neuron is any good?

10th August – Bristol VR Lab’s Green screen

Bristol VR Lab is equipped with green screens on rails in the main HTC Vive and event areas. If the idea of playing around with some realtime mixed reality filming floats your boat then this is your chance to get hands-on. There are four high-powered PCs with HTC Vive Pros to use for this session, or if you’re wanting to move around a little more, the Lab has backpack PCs for use with the Vives too.

The VR Lab recommends the use of Liv for this session – for beginners, it might be good to simply have a go with some pre-existing Liv-compatible games/software, while more experienced users might want to try out using the Liv Unity plugin with their own projects.

17th August – Ultrahaptics Touch Development Kit

A few incredible ultrasound-producing dev kits were recently gifted to the VR Lab by local tech wizards, Ultrahaptics. This session is the perfect chance to get yourself familiar with it. They’ll specifically be looking at the Ultrahaptics Unity plugin for this event and seeing what they can make it do.

24th August – Microsoft HoloLens

The Microsoft HoloLens is another impressive bit of kit they’re lucky enough to own at Bristol VR Lab and this is a wonderful opportunity to come and have a play. In this session, they’ll be taking a look at some of Microsoft’s tutorials to see what it can do!

31st August – HTC Vive Focus

The HTC Vive Focus developer kit is a particularly difficult bit of equipment to get hold of. Currently only available in China or to specially HTC-selected developers it’s an impressive, standalone, 6 degrees of freedominside-out tracking, virtual reality headset (mouthful we know). If you’re wondering what that last sentence meant – you’re able to use this VR device without a PC and walk around the room, properly tracked, without having to put sensors up and it won’t behave like the “3DOF” Gear VR or Oculus Go.

You can get in touch with Bristol VR Lab at if you have any further questions.