University challenge: Matterport proves its prowess in academic settings
Two leading UK universities are using the power of Matterport’s virtual tours, with two very different applications and outcomes.
The University of York decided it wanted to capture its main library – the Harry Fairhurst Building – in detail for prospective students, current undergraduates and stakeholders to see in all its glory. The forward-thinking space, which is open 24/7, 362 days a year, boasts 500 flexible, adaptable and accessible study spaces. The library has been described as ‘extraordinary’ by the university and was designed in conjunction with the students to facilitate their many different ways of working.
The university decided a Matterport virtual tour was the best way of allowing viewers to explore the library in its entirety, and the end result is even complete with students in situ to illustrate how popular the space in. Viewers can move through the space, seeing how the movable desks, collaborative areas with large screens, beanbags, sofas, pod chairs and whiteboard walls combine to create an inspiring yet studious space for students.
With competition among universities fiercer than ever – and working on the basis that students apply from all over the UK and even the world - virtual tours are becoming an essential part of any university’s ‘attraction’ marketing strategy, allowing students and stakeholders to tour facilities at any time and from anywhere.
Another UK university is taking a more grisly approach to using Matterport. The University of Wolverhampton offers courses in Forensics at HND, BSc, MSc and PhD levels, and a key component of the student’s studies is the development of field and observational skills using mock crime scenes and subsequent reports. The course leaders, through EnTRESS (a business support project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund), have been trialing Matterport’s camera technology within a forensics environment.
Locard House (the university’s mock crime scene building) was set up to reflect a murder crime scene and it was subsequently scanned to provide a valuable teaching aid to reinforce lecture material and prepare students for practical learning.
Matterport’s technology has allowed the virtual crime scene to be tagged with key elements, including: evidence; additional photographs to highlight items of interest; vital comments (such as a hotspot by a telephone that you can hover over to reveal the time a 999 call was made and others that detail where fingerprints were found) and advice on collecting evidence.
As well as helping current students develop their forensic skills, capturing the crime scene as a virtual tour provides the course leaders with an evergreen learning tool that can be used by future students too. To explore more uses of cutting egde technology for acedemic courses, visit The University of Wolverhampton website.