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Investing in our virtual reality heritage

David Gregory | 16:10 UK time, Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Lunt Roman Fort near Coventry


Nine years ago I met Mike Gogan when he was helping to create a virtual reality version of Anne Hathaway's cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon. The idea was to allow less mobile visitors to "visit" the interior of this important piece of English history even if it isn't possible for them to climb the narrow stairs to get to the first floor.
Since then his company has continued to model heritage sites and you can find details of some of their projects on the company website.
We caught up at Lunt Fort outside Coventry. A roman archaeological site that Mike has also turned into a 3d model. It really helps to get a sense of what was a very crowded and busy fort. Although I have to say some visiting children were also pretty engaged by some spectacularly gory descriptions of fort-life from an excellent guide.
For Mike, working in a fairly specialised area, the business challenge he faces is to make sure he can impress future clients in the face of global competition. And that's where the University of Warwick and the Warwick Manufacturing Group come in.
They've been working with Mike to push his virtual models even further, using the UK's highest resolution 3d "power wall".
The idea is to use the expertise at Warwick to give smaller companies like Mike's an edge when going out and getting new business. I look forward to returning to see Mike in another ten years and seeing how his plans to model heritage sites all over the world.

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