Portsmouth – Virtual Reality Expedition

Ben and myself recently spent a day down in Portsmouth visiting Novatech. Novatech is a UK based specialist computing store that has been for has been in the sector for over 27 years. They supply technology to a range of industries, from public sector to individuals, and a number of specialist fields including Virtual Reality and Deep Learning. They have a great team that are all really knowledgeable, and genuinely happy to talk through a problem to help you find a suitable IT solution.

We went down to look at some of their new Virtual Reality platforms to support some of our current research. It was a great opportunity to have a play with some of the latest hardware, and get ideas about what may be feasible with current commercial offerings. It was also a great opportunity to whiteboard some ideas with their team who where pretty keen to talk research with us.

… but, the highlight of the day was trying out their new full motion simulation chair the ATOMIC A3. The chair is super high fidelity, accurate, really fast, and has a massive range of motion compared with other chairs I have tried recently. I was also super impressed by how strict the motion was; there wasn’t any of the sponginess or wobble that you tend to get from these systems. We were also super impressed with how customisable the chair was, even between individual users.

Of course, we cant really speak for the robustness of the system, but considering how much use this demo chair has had, I’m pretty confident that the system could take a reasonable amount of abuse. It is certainly built solidly enough, with a strong metal frame.

Either way, we had a lot of fun driving around a virtual Brands Hatch in a variety of cars. Its stimulated some interesting research ideas so watch this space.