Beacons for Science – A Virtual and Augmented Reality App about Science in Manchester
Jul 2016 13

Over the past few months I have been collaborating with a number of partners on the ‘Beacons for Science’ project in Manchester, which is aiming to create an innovative app to experience Science in the City through Augmented and Virtual reality. Using beacon technology to enable people to experience science in new ways as they navigate the city.

My role has been to co-ordinate the development of the virtual reality and augmented story content, produced with the support of a number of cultural partners, artists, scientists and co-creators from around Manchester, and to work with the developers to shape the mixed reality user-experience.

There are a number of cool features in the app, including virtual reality experiences that are triggered when walking around Manchester as well as interactive augmented reality content that we created. There are about 15 experiences in total that were created as a result of a series of hack labs taking place in Manchester as part of the European City of Science calendar.

These include:

  • a Virtual Reality look at the Urban Bees that live on top of Manchester Art Gallery
  • augmented experiences in a number of the libraries around Manchester including Science Footage from the North West Film Archive and the Portico Library
  • a 360 degree performance about the life of Alan Turing
  • a 360 view from the top of the Hilton Hotel
  • an augmented reality experience on the Manchester #astrotram
  • a virtual reality film of the radio telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory
  • an augmented reality experiment inspired by John Dalton
  • a Brian Cox ‘Coxemon’ avatar hidden around manchester
  • a tour of the Manchester Ship canal
  • #astrotrams – where people can see augmented reality content of the galaxy on a tram that also includes announcements from Professor Brian Cox
  • a virtual statue of RSPB Founder Emily Williamson.

We have also been involved in a series of public engagement events to showcase the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content across Manchester during the Euroscience Open Forum 2016 Conference, that has brought over 4000 scientists to the city.

Download the app here:

Here’s a short showreel of some of the 360 content and some images from the project:

••coxemanjodrell bank***science three***science 2**science oneScreen Shot 2016-07-27 at 09.22.28urban beesjodrell bankship canal

 

 

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