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Gaming and virtual reality - the future of construction training?

19 April 2016

Dr Ludovico Carozza will showcase his Immersive Hybrid Reality for Construction Trade Training

Gaming, virtual reality and their role in training construction’s next generation will be showcased today (19 April) at one of the industry’s leading innovation events.

The rest of the world has been wowed by the recent emergence of Occulus Rift, touted as the future of gaming and training, and these areas will be in the spotlight during the Accelerate to Innovate event being held at the BRE.

The event has been set up by BRE, CIOB and Construction Manager and aims to find some of the brightest minds and newest ideas in the sector and foster them through mentoring from some of the leading figures in the industry, including Professor Stuart Green, head of the University of Reading's school of construction management and engineering, Dr Deborah Pullen, group research director for BRE, and Dr Jackie Maguire, chief executive at Coller.

Shortlisted innovators at the Accelerate to Innovate showcase

  • Activity Tracking and Body Area Networks (Dr Aparajithan Sivanathan, Heriot-Watt University, UK)
  • BIM Apps In the Cloud (John Egan, Jenca, UK)
  • BiMUp 5D (Gregory Malek, BiMUp for SketchUp, UK)
  • Immersive Hybrid Reality for Construction Trade Training (Dr Ludovico Carozza, Heriot-Watt University, UK)
  • Online Communications Platform for Soft Landings (Michael Kohn, Stickyworld, UK)
  • Photogrammetric Monitoring of Construction Environments and Surrounding Assets (Mehdi Alhaddad, University of Cambridge, UK)
  • Skills4Leadership in Construction (Sarah Davis, Skills4Stem, UK)
  • The Situation Engine (Dr Sidney Newton, University of New South Wales, Australia)

“No one in the industry wants good ideas sitting on a shelf. This initiative is not a competition it’s a collaboration between innovators and those who can help open doors to the wider industry,” said Saleem Akram, director at the CIOB.

Among the ideas being touted is the Immersive Hybrid Reality training environment. This technology integrates 3D and real world environments so that construction trainees can see their hands, tools and materials within any virtual environment related to their training.

Elsewhere the University of New South Wales has come up with the Situation Engine, which applies advanced video game technology to drive change in on-site health and safety behaviour through a virtual personal experience.

It exposes students to site accidents by delivering a “cognitive shock” that the developers claim provides a learning experience no classroom can match.

Five of the eight invited innovators for the day are the Innovation & Research Award 2015 winners while the further three have been selected from an open call to the industry.

For a more detailed feature on the shortlisted innovators and the results please check the June edition of Construction Manager.

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