Enterprise M3 has invested £1.5m into 5G Digital Gaming Hub, this will enable an upgrade of the 5G test bed from “4G plus” to full 5G standard, the production of a walk through live Virtual Reality demonstrator and a live “tactile internet” demonstration, where a robot manipulator provides real time video and force feedback to operator.
The gaming industry is the sixth largest consumer market in the world and globally estimated to be worth over £80 billion by 2018. The UK is home to 2,260 games firms 100 of which are in the Enterprise M3 area ranging from new micro-studios developing games for the growing mobile market, to internationally respected independent studios, to large UK and international publishers. Gamification commonly employs game design elements in other contexts to improve user engagement in a range of sectors, organisational productivity, learning, health, physical exercise and more. The University of Surrey’s ‘backyard’ is home to one of the world’s top digital games design communities, the Guildford/Aldershot/Camberley games cluster, balanced with a mix of large, established companies and small, younger companies.
Our investment in 5G and the Games Hub was showcased at the Third Futures Games Conference in Guildford in July 2017. Over 100 games developers attended to debate virtual reality technologies and how to support talent and start-ups in Surrey. Dave Axam, Enterprise M3 Board Member joined the panellists which included businesses from the local games industry and highlighted the need to continue to develop talent, infrastructure and technology of the future so Guildford retains its status as the ‘Hollywood of the games industry’.
The development of virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) in gaming is acting as a catalyst for other sectors to develop the opportunities for these digital technologies. Sectors such as med tech, defence, transport etc are exploring new products and engaging with mobile technologies, e.g. use of VR in medical rehabilitation. These key sectors in Enterprise M3 are keeping us ahead of the game and our economy innovating and growing.
Footnote: Tactile internet is a network combining low latency, a very short transit, a high availability and high reliability with a high level of security