Big tech and academia are set to collide as part of a new partnership between TU Dublin and Intel Ireland. The pair have announced a new collaboration on an applied research project to develop virtual reality (VR) technologies for training simulation programmes at Intel.

The tech giant will look to tap into the range of technologies available at TU Dublin’s Virtual Interaction Research Lab (VIRaL) and School of Media. VIRaL’s purpose is to determine how VR and augmented reality (AR) can improve best practice across academic fields such as journalism, games development, simulation-based education, training and manufacturing.

The new research project will also see a number of TU Dublin undergraduate students and postgraduate research assistants – studying computer science and game development – complete intern placements at the Intel campus in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

Merging of physical and digital worlds
“VIRal will develop Intel’s existing, highly detailed specifications for a tool and translate certain aspects into a VR training solution that will complement the existing AR training programmes,” explained Dr Brian Vaughan, principle investigator at VIRaL.

“The project will use a range of expertise, including that of Basil Lim (game designer in the School of Media), myself and two research assistants – a developer and a 3D modeller.”

Intel Ireland general manager and vice-president of manufacturing and operations, Eamonn Sinnott, added: “We are working with TU Dublin to explore new frontiers with AR and VR technology as we continue on our industry 4.0 journey. We anticipate massive potential in the merger of the physical and digital worlds in real time.”

The news comes after 2019’s announcement of a five-year partnership between TU Dublin and Intel, which included the planned opening of the Intel Auditorium, a 250-seat lecture theatre located in the Central Quad area of the Grangegorman campus, later this year.

The partnership also funds talent development activities such as the Intel Awards programme, which provides scholarships to students in the disciplines of engineering, computer science and game design.

Colm Gorey

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