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Technology Exploration Lab launches to support local innovators

On Tuesday 19 January 2021, SETsquared Exeter welcomed more than 55 innovators and startup business entrepreneurs to the launch of its Technology Exploration Lab (TEL), a new exploratory space at Exeter Science Park.

The TEL enables access to equipment typically beyond the reach and means of early stage business owners. It includes high-end computing, AR and VR hardware and software, 3D printing and scanning, and advanced electronics equipment. Crucially, TEL is also providing tech support and inspiration for its users through an ongoing series of showcase events, workshops and tuition, designed to enable researchers and founders to take the leap from idea to innovation.

Colin Dart, Technology Manager kicked off the event with an introduction to the Laboratory, its resources and how potential users might benefit from engagement. This was followed by talks from three guest speakers, each revealing their unique view of immersive technology and how it can accelerate innovation.

Dr Sam Vine, a psychologist with interests in human learning and performance uses virtual and augmented reality to understand the neuropsychology of how we learn and perform skills. Sam explained immersive tech as an enabler and key to making advancement in understanding complex things fully.

Toby De Burgh has many years of experience working as a senior consultant in the nuclear industry, primarily in nuclear safety but also waste management and engineering. He now develops VR training for a range of industries and showcased organisations that have adopted virtual technology to enhance training and performance.

Zoita Mandila is an experienced dentist with a particular interest in patient anxiety and wellbeing. Most recently, Zoita has explored the use of VR for those suffering from dental anxiety to help patients to have better experiences. Many of her patients would express a wish to be somewhere else other than in the dentist’s chair and with the help of VR, Zoe is making this a reality, transporting them to a desert island or their virtual safe space whilst they undergo treatment. The overall aim being to reduce the possibility of costly and sometimes risky sedation techniques and missed appointments.

The Technology Exploration Lab represents an excellent opportunity to explore and unlock the potential of immersive technology. With the launch event demonstrating the  diverse applications and benefits for a variety of sectors and development stages.

Colin Dart, Technology Manager concluded: “I am immensely pleased to have launched the Technology Exploration Lab with such an exciting topic and engaging speakers. Events like these and the resources available through the lab really are a great opportunity for the community to explore and understand how they might bring life to their own ideas.”

Video recordings of the launch event talks can be found on the TEL Vimeo page.

The TEL space will continue to run seminars and workshops on the third Tuesday of each calendar month. The next event being a workshop on translating real world objects to virtual environments. For more information please visit the dedicated Eventbrite page.

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