Virtual reality (VR) developer, Viz Box Ltd, has partnered with The City of Liverpool College to create a VR experience for children to help reduce anxiety, improve mental health, and develop motor and concentration skills, as a cost-effective solution for use in hospitals and primary schools.
Students on the College’s Digital Games Design & Development course were tasked with the live brief with Viz Box, to help create a virtual reality app that replicates a sensory room – an effective tool often used to support children.
Whilst incredibly useful in child support, sensory rooms can often be expensive for organisations to install and maintain. As part of the project, students worked as a team alongside industry experts at Viz Box – including previous College alumni, Liam Heron – to create the app, which will enable organisations to provide a sensory experience by purchasing a headset, avoiding the need for additional space, equipment and technology.
Students used the College’s new cutting-edge motion capture suite and VR studio for further development of the app, which will be rolled out in a future version to engage even more with local primary schools.
Steph Doyle, Head of The City of Liverpool College’s Digital Academy, said:
“At The City of Liverpool College, as well as high-quality teaching, one of our top priorities is providing our students with the real world skills they need to secure future jobs in the industry. It’s not just about courses, it’s about careers and setting them up for successful, fulfilling futures. This project has allowed our students to apply the skills they have learnt with us to a setting they may not have expected, demonstrating how transferrable the techniques and knowledge they gain with us are.
“Given the current climate, it has never been more important for us to ensure our students are industry ready. Through fantastic partnerships such as this, we can be sure that they will hit the ground running.”
Liam Heron, App Developer at Viz Box, said:
“As an ex-student of The City of Liverpool College, it was great to come back with a project from Viz Box, to work alongside the students on this Sensory VR.
“Students had great ideas for new features and models, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult to execute due to all work being done remotely. However, we were able to work around this through the use of online project management tool, Discord. Students were able to send over their work and I was then able to add it to the project, which was an effective way of working.
“Lockdown rules are starting to ease up and we are really excited to make use of the motion capture suite offered by the College, to make some unique animations for a specific idea we have in the pipeline. Watch this space!”