USP College to become UK first with new Extended Reality campus

USP College is set to open its new, state-of-the-art XTEND Digital campus in Canvey and become the first academic institution in the UK with an on-campus volumetric capture studio and Teslasuits for creating and experiencing content in virtual and augmented reality.

Refurbishment works are nearing completion at the Meppel Avenue site, formerly home to Canvey Skills Campus, where the College has invested in the cutting edge facilities to offer courses and skills for careers in the emerging field of immersive technology.

The campus, which is due to open in September 2021, will be kitted out with industry-leading virtual and augmented reality technology, becoming home to the first two Teslasuits in the UK.

The new volumetric capture studio at the campus will enable 360-degree recording around a real-life element or person that can then be imported into an extended reality programme, creating much more realistic virtual and augmented reality experiences than those which have only been possible using CGI until now, and making the extended reality development process speedier, more efficient and more accessible.

Full-body haptic Teslasuits add to the full immersion experience by allowing users to not only see, but feel their virtual surroundings as though they’re living them, from subtle touch sensations to feelings of physical exertion. They can also capture motion and biometric information such as stress levels to create programmes and assess an individual’s ability to perform under pressure.

A full, state of the art motion capture studio, alongside recording suites, infinity coves, edit suites, discovery labs and an emerging technology studio are going to debut in the initial opening, paving the way for the UK’s next generation of immersive content.

Businesses are already seeing the benefits of using virtual and augmented reality experiences for training their employees, particularly those in hazardous or dangerous industries such as construction, logistics and manufacturing. As the demand for this increases, so will the need for skilled people to develop immersive software and programmes.

Dan Pearson, Principal and CEO at USP College is excited about the career prospects and applications that the new campus and technology will bring for students and businesses alike.

He said: “At USP College, we’re focused on offering programmes and learning experiences with clear pathways into inspiring, high-end careers. Right now, the world is only just scratching the surface of what can be achieved with extended reality, and the possibilities for young people with skills in this exciting area of emerging technologies are endless.

“As the first academic institution in the UK to have this innovative technology, USP College offers the unique and invaluable opportunity for our students to not only learn the theory of extended reality development, but to put the latest developments in the field into practice on-campus.”

The College has a tried and tested approach when it comes to involving leading industry experts in the planning and delivery of its curriculum, and will be working in collaboration with UK experts in virtual reality content creation, Diverse Interactive, along with other leading employers in the field.

Dan added: “We’re really excited to welcome our new industry partners on board to incorporate up-to-the-minute advancements in the field into our learning and teaching, as well as offering our students routes into paid employment.”

In addition to teaching and learning, the College will offer use of the high-tech facilities to schools and businesses through its commercial enterprise, XTEND Digital, with a full content creation service on offer through Diverse Interactive.

Jake Warren-Simpson, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer at Diverse Interactive, is delighted about the collaboration.

He added: ”Many years of planning has resulted in the delivery of this truly state of the art facility through a partnership with USP College. We know that there is a huge demand from all sectors in virtual and augmented reality and we now have the pleasure of being able to provide businesses with the ability to adopt this technology.

We are all really excited to open the doors to the XTEND Digital campus, which is a one-of-a-kind offering, and being able to connect businesses with the technology and the next generation of content creators and engineers”.

To find out more about the new courses available at the XTEND Digital Campus or XTEND Digital’s commercial services, register your details by emailing marketing@uspcollege.ac.uk.

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