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LA12 - finding new applications for virtual reality

Thursday, May 16, 2019

LA12 Ltd, a company founded by ex HP director of oil and gas Paul Helm, is finding new applications for virtual reality, including supporting virtual collaboration rooms, and helping children to learn.

LA12 Ltd, a company founded by ex HP director of oil and gas Paul Helm, and working with established industry partner Geologix, has developed virtual reality (VR) models for an integrated operations centre, for clients in Australia and Canada. It is also experimenting with VR to support learning for children.

With an VR integrated operations centre, you can put together a 'virtual team' of experts, all looking at the same data, but working from any location, even their homes. Instead of the large screens commonly seen in collaboration rooms displaying data and information, the same objective can be achieved through immersive experiences with their headsets, Mr Helm said.

People can walk around the virtual environment and see their colleagues as avatars represented in that same virtual space. If someone talks, the other person can hear their voice on a headset and, with spatial sound, knows immediately where that person is within the virtual space and can then join them in reviewing the information they are commenting on.

Any sounds (such as from machinery) also have their noises adjusted by computer to take into consideration how far away they are from the listener in the virtual world, and how the sound might be attenuated by the distance if they were objects in a real world.

The system can construct virtual worlds of offshore platforms, taking data from CAD designs or LiDAR scans, for example, and annotating the model with real-time data from the control system or analytics packages.

It is also possible to have spectators watching what is happening in the virtual world, without actually joining in.

The system can support real operational decision making, providing better situation awareness.

It can be used for training or staff monitoring, watching how people are making decisions.


Mr Helm has developed similar technology for schools. A game was developed for 9-13 year olds, where they would be given a short list of instructions (pull the lower lever and dial 'C'), told to memorise them in 10 seconds, then shown a dark screen. Then they were shown levers and dials in a virtual world.

This was a good way to teach them about situation awareness and virtual reality.

The children's teachers also observed how the system quickly brought out personal characteristics of the children which would otherwise take several months for a classroom teacher to identify, such as their spatial awareness or ability to follow instructions even though each child is only exposed to VR for a maximum of 45 seconds.

Associated Companies
» LA12 Ltd
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