27 September 2018

BBC Brings History to Life with VR

Posted By Laura Thompson
apps interactive technology museum technology smart phone apps virtual reality virtual reality in education virtual reality in museum VR VR headset
Virtual Reality is being utilised more and more as an educational tool, and it’s not difficult to see why. VR can transport the viewer anywhere, fully immersing them in an engaging and exciting learning experience.

The BBC VR Hub utilises Virtual Reality in this way and they’ve recently introduced ‘1943: Berlin Blitz’ which allows viewers to follow in the footsteps of BBC war reporter, Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, as he describes the “biggest fireworks show in the world” during his report from the cockpit of a Lancaster Bomber, as Nazi anti-aircraft guns try to bring them down over Berlin.
Vaughan-Thomas’ original radio broadcast, which is kept by the BBC Archive, has been included to make this a true audio visual experience.
Zillah Watson, head of BBC VR Hub, said: “1943: Berlin Blitz uses VR to breathe new life into the BBC Archive, using an extraordinary piece of journalism to transport you to Berlin at the height of the Second World War. It really gives a sense of just how brave the RAF and the BBC’s war correspondents were back then, and providing new context for the threats our colleagues face today when reporting from dangerous situations.”

And VR is simple to use at home; you just need to buy a virtual reality headset, which are available in high street shops, then you can access content such as ‘1943: Berlin Blitz’ on the BBC VR app, and your smartphone simply slots into your headset.

A lot of the work that we do here at Peel Interactive aims to be educational and emotionally engaging, like our Augmented Reality app for Kelmarsh Hall’s ‘Tunnelling Through the Past’ project which was delivered earlier this year.

Similar to our previous work with The Parliament Education Service, this project augments real-life actors telling the stories of significant historical figures who resided in the house, making the visitor journey exciting, immersive and informative.
Our software allows us to overlay multimedia content like videos, images and animations over real world objects, so that the content is launched using the room itself as a trigger- simply point your device at the room and an actor will appear on your screen as if they were in the same room as you.
Natural Feature Tracking (NFT) recognises shape features in practically anything (packages, rooms, structures, photos, patterns and faces) and uses them as markers to deliver and control an augmented reality experience.

Peel Interactive is a Creative Digital Agency specialising in custom virtual and augmented reality solutions, bespoke mobile applications, 3D modelling and interactive games. Please contact us at ian.capper@peelinteractive.co.uk or call 01756 796176 for more information about what we could do for you.