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Norwich venue recreated in virtual reality to help people with disabilities

PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:25 05 June 2017

Matt Johnson at OPEN creating the 3D map. Picture:Discovr

Matt Johnson at OPEN creating the 3D map. Picture:Discovr

Discovr

One of Norwich’s largest venues has been captured in a virtual reality tour which can help people with disabilities and anxiety understand the building before arriving.

OPEN Youth trust virtual tour. Picture: DiscovrOPEN Youth trust virtual tour. Picture: Discovr

Open Youth Trust has had a 3D map created of the inside of the building using the latest technology in virtual reality and 3D cameras, and visitors can now click around the venue to understand its layout.

Hayley Gerrard, head of marketing at Open, said: “As a multi-purpose venue it is very difficult to describe exactly what we can offer a variety of users.

“This 3D tour demonstrates just how diverse the venue is. Hopefully individuals, promoters, businesses and schools will get an idea of the spaces and facilities we have available before coming to visit or book.”

The tour was created by a new Norwich company called Discovr. The 3D technology company was started by city residents Matt Glennie and Matt Johnson.

Mr Glennie said: “For people who may struggle with access it gives them the quick instant look at the place, what kind of access is there, do I feel like I’m confident going there. It’s a gateway into a space, plus it’s really cool. We want to push the technology as far as we can.”

The friends decided while talking over a pint at Halloween to jump into the world of virtual reality and create Discovr.

“Virtual realty is flying up the technological ladder,” Mr Glennie added, “it’s almost scary at times, we want to be in the mix in terms of the level of technology we’ve got, but there’s a lot of scary expensive cameras out there.”

To help start the business the pair received funding from Nwes, a enterprise support company in Norwich.

“We spent a long time looking at the markets and technology until we came across the Matterport system.”

Using this system they take a 3D picture with the specialised camera, moving it around the venue then repeating. The software then links all the images together.

“We decided to be bold and just go for it, this tech is great for holiday homes. Coming from Canada to England it can make decisions a lot easier if you can see safety concerns or to have a good look at the space.”

To view the 3D tour go to opennorwich.org.uk/about-us/3d-tour-opening-times/

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