Geospatial VR Space engineer

Through the iMayflower funded Ocean 3D Ltd virtual internship, Chris Wood (Project Lead) and Julian Whatley (University of Plymouth student) created an inclusive experience for people with a variety of needs, through a system similar to Google Earth but with added interactivity and accessibility. The project enabled Julian to apply the knowledge and skills he had gained through his undergraduate course in Game and Interactive Media Design, to an entirely new landscape.

It’s opened my mind up to what’s possible with the technology that I’m using. It’s just opened those doors in my mind saying, “I can do this; I can do that’” and there’s just so much more opportunity for me now in life.

Julian Whatley, Ocean 3D Intern and University of Plymouth MA Student

Who is Ocean 3D Ltd?

Ocean 3D is one of the UK’s leading VR 3D scanning businesses and has been known to cross boundaries in new, exciting ways to make more environments more accessible for more people. They proudly received the National Autistic Society ‘Autism – Friendly’ award; demonstrating how important the work they do truly is.

Ocean 3D

What is Geospatial Virtual Reality?

  • Geospatial VR (Virtual Reality) is the notion of bringing digital 2D content to life
  • It duplicates real areas and maps them into a virtual format in order for people to easily interact with
  • It allows for people to prepare and discover in novel ways and is making huge waves for the disabled community

What did the Internship Achieve?

The internship was highly successful and has led onto new and unexpected opportunities for both Julian and Ocean 3D Ltd. The partnership created through the internship has now extended into Julian’s Masters degree, where Julian and Chris plan to merge new technologies with the original data and methods of Ocean 3D. This could involve, for example, using a smartphone to scan an area (e.g. a theme park or zoo) and receiving a map or video to help users navigate and interact with their environment.

“The tool would be the phone, that would be the bridge so it would be even more accessible to people. It would just be a universal app that’s accessible anywhere in the world and then it would just be down to Ocean 3D to scan the environments.”

Julian Whatley, Ocean 3D Intern and University of Plymouth MA Student

Julian Whatley

What was the Overall Experience like for Chris and Julian?

"One of the things we recognised from Julian was that, whilst his passion is games design, there is an awful lot of overlap between game design and making a virtual environment inclusive, accessible, useful and easy to operate.”

Chris Wood, Ocean 3D Ltd

The internship has delivered mutual benefits for all parties. As well as gaining all-important work experience, the project has also allowed the creative ideas to flow and offered Julian a safe space to test the limits of his skills via the safety net of Chris. Importantly, Chris has been open to Julian using technologies and methods that Ocean 3D has never seen before.

As part of the University of Plymouth’s commitment to enhancing the productivity of the regional Creative Economy and supporting businesses through the economic recovery period, we are piloting an innovative new scheme to pair local businesses with talented postgraduate students in order to undertake a defined project or R&D challenge.

Find out more about the innovative placement scheme.

Woman explaining the plan to office team

This case study was written by Bethany Chandler, a student at the University of Plymouth. Connect with Bethany on LinkedIn.