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Collaboration helps create the World's first VR Anatomical Learning platform across a standalone 5G network

  • 5 minute read
  • Published by Crispin Moller on 17 Feb 2021
  • Last modified 17 Feb 2021
In partnership with Vodafone, TOCC have collaborated with Gamoola, Xpllore and The Grid Factory to create, develop and implement the world's first VR Anatomical Learning platform across a standalone 5G network.

As we navigate our way through challenging and unpredictable times, the world around us is changing and adapting to an unprecedented situation.

To embrace our new environment, instant digital connection is essential to all sectors, shaping and strengthening how we work, learn, communicate, study and play.

Out of adversity comes opportunity and growth - a true testament to the resilience of human spirit. Communication is fundamental to flourishing in a constantly transforming world.

The Original Content Company (TOCC) was conceived from a desire to push technology further, to embrace and ultimately provide solutions in an ever-changing and erratic landscape. The inception of 5G has been crucial in this journey…the possibilities for adaptable / flexible communication are limitless.

In partnership with Vodafone, we have collaborated with Gamoola, Xpllore and The Grid Factory to create, develop and implement the world's first VR Anatomical Learning platform across a standalone 5G network.

In a ground-breaking venture designed to enhance the learning process for medical students, VR Anatomic Learning is an immersive virtual reality 3d educational simulation.

Offering a vital and unique antidote to restrictions surrounding access to educational facilities and necessary equipment, VR Anatomic Learning empowers users by providing a simple yet incredible opportunity for all students to train to an equal level, within the same timeframe and from anywhere in the world, catapulting the online learning experience into a truly dynamic and innovative sphere.

Duncan McIntosh, Director of Gamoola explained

“Researching and designing MOA explainer videos is what led to our fascination and wonder at the intricate world of human bioscience. Videos can be great educational tools; however, we became frustrated at the linear nature of the medium. We would create entire worlds, but the viewer only got to see one perspective, one angle. This frustration gave birth to the idea of a more exploratory experience, why not give the viewer the opportunity to explore, and ultimately interact with the experience?"

Studies indicate that two hours classroom learning can possibly equate to only 30 minutes learning using VR. When learners are immersed in a VR experience, they tend to get more out of the training and experience better results.

So how does it work?

Developed to be streamed to students’ digital devices via a standalone 5G network, this remarkable learning tool uses vibrant 360°CGI to enable the medical lecturer to virtually investigate, probe and study inside the vast chasm of the body, exploring in minute detail at their own pace. A unique opportunity to enable medical students to take a virtual tour through the human body and see how all the parts – from bones, muscles and the brain to the heart and red blood cells – work and interconnect.

What differentiates this new way of learning is that teachers can access any part of the virtual body at any time – it is a real-time experience. Before, they would have to use pre-recorded materials, which would only let them to take a tour of the body in one linear sequence

Experience

What was important to us in this simulation was not to create just another Medical VR experience, we wanted to offer the user more than just the ability to examine an organ. We wanted to give the user / lecturer the opportunity to directly affect the simulation…to ask the question, ‘what would happen if a virus was introduced?’, the answer would then unfold all around them, we would see the complex interactions that occur in the incredible perivascular system, the user could then navigate through the results explaining the various cellular interactions.

Timing. The arrival of 5G. Mixed-reality content and video require high bandwidth and low latency to perform optimally. 4G struggles to maintain the traffic required for AR and VR experiences. But with 5G, experiences will be seamless. The lecturer can tour the human body in VR. With AR, they can explore concepts through touch, pinching and zooming through different objects as fast as they think it.

Xpllore along with partners The Grid Factory, designed and built a high-speed, low latency, Edge Computing known as a MEC. 

To stream VR over 5G, Nvidia’s CloudXR was used, a ground breaking technology built on the NVIDIA RTX platform. CloudXR breaks the confines of traditional VR and AR, by the streaming of XR content to untethered devices, with a level of fidelity that is indistinguishable from native tethered configurations. This software dynamically adjusts to the network conditions maximizing image quality and frame rates, allowing multiple users to stream from a data centre, cloud or at the edge.

The VR anatomic learning project will be the first commercial offering globally to use Nvidia’s CloudXR.

The project was funded by Vodafone for Coventry University with network support by Ericsson.

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