There is increasing use of Virtual Reality for simulation and entertainment. An exciting development of these trends is to bring the simulation and entertainment together and allow VR to be used in tourist attractions to bring to life the historic environment. Work related to this is being undertaken in Virtual Set building, Character Animation, Immersive VR, Motion Simulation and the related areas of VR in computer games. Other developments in the use of WWW and the Internet are attempting to make downloadable machine independent graphics programmes available over the Internet.
Interest in all the areas is growing rapidly and being fuelled by a spate of bids to Lottery funds which use VR for Edutainment in visitor attractions, e.g. the Lowry Centre in Salford. A Millennium Landmark bid for Norwich is currently under review and, if successful, will make extensive use of these technologies. The bid includes a proposed visitor attraction using VR to simulate life in Norwich and cities in Western Europe over 1000 years, as well as an enhanced county library with 250 CD-ROMs available to networked access. An underlying theme to all of this is the aspect of interactive network and internet access especially for educational purposes including the VR heritage exhibits.
Chris Thornborrow 7/10/96