Friday 24 October 2014

Students transform phone into virtual reality device

Published 18/03/2014 | 05:24

IT Carlow Games Development student Alex Meuer, surrounded by his class and team mates (left to right): Aaron Keating, David Mold, Jason Power, Libor Zachovaland Wojciech Kijewski.

Games Design Students from IT Carlow shared their latest innovation with the industry and academics at Games Fleadh Ireland by demonstrating a computer game that turns any smartphone into a virtual reality device.

The students came up with the idea as part of their research prior to the 30th anniversary of the classic game and novel, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. As part of it, they created a new version of the video game, first released in 1984, that allows gamers to cybernetic-ally experience the narrative of the renowned author Douglas Adams, using just a smart phone and goggles. Visitor's Windows Phone 8 smartphones were transformed into virtual reality devices to allow them experience comedic gameplay.

Director of the Computer Games Development Programme at IT Carlow, Ross Palmer said: 'I am delighted to see students enter the competition with such an exciting and fun project. We encourage our students to explore new technologies outside of their coursework and to come up with innovative ways of creating new game content. Their participation in Games Fleadh 2014 can only enhance future employment opportunities.'

Another IT Carlow team competed in an Artificial Intelligence challenge where they created a code driven battle bot which contested for the title of Robocode Marshall. They managed to place third after matches against UL, NUIM, WIT and LYIT.

Nigel Whyte, Head of Department Computing and Networking at IT Carlow said: 'I'm impressed and proud of what our students showcased during this year's digital games festival. The search for and creation of new mechanisms for gamers to interact with engaging gameplay is an important focus within IT Carlow's Research Team GameCORE. We plan to demonstrate our undergraduate creations when we host academics and students from Norway, Austria and Netherlands during the 2014 Erasmus Intensive Programme on Serious Games.'

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