Augmented reality app designed by Bath Spa University spin-out brings its campus to life for new students

February 23, 2022

A spin-out business from Bath Spa University has launched a one-of-a-kind app offering an augmented reality (AR) tour of its campus for prospective students.

The app brings the university’s Newton Park campus to life by adding an extra layer of digital detail, so helping applicants accepted onto its 2022 offer holder days ‘see’ the multitude of opportunities and networks on offer to them. 

It has been designed and produced by the Bath Spa’s research lead for film and media and course leader for Media Communications Dr Matthew Freeman, using the latest research and development from Immersive Promotion Design, the first spin-out from the university’s Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries.

The AR campus tour app was informed by the firm’s research and development, which delves into the psychology of immersion and how different audiences value immersive technologies.

Based at Bath Spa’s research and innovation hub, The Studio in Bath, Immersive Promotion Design was set up last year as a marketing consultancy to support AR and virtual reality (VR) creatives and businesses to better communicate with their audiences about what Dr Freeman calls the ‘magic’ of immersive technologies.

The campus app invites visitors to track down posters inside campus buildings that, when scanned, trigger an AR experience such as ‘seeing’ inside a live TV production shoot and a dance rehearsal or being ‘greeted‘ by the university’s leaders. 

There is also the chance to step inside 360-degree digital recreations of student projects as well as the university’s student accommodation spaces. 

The project was a collaboration with Bristol-based AR and VR studio ZubrVR, which shot the bespoke immersive content using 180-degree and 360-degree cameras.

It was also supported by Bath Spa University’s marketing, student opportunities, accommodation, technical services and senior management teams. 

Dr Freeman said: “Many people have recognised the potential of immersive technologies like virtual and augmented reality. Up until now, though, few UK universities have harnessed such technologies to better promote the university experience to its student body. 

“We know that going to university is about developing skills and knowledge for a future career, but it’s also about forming new networks and connections, and benefitting from impromptu opportunities and creative learning – most of which is often invisible to the naked eye during a one-off open day.

“The AR campus tour app is our way of starting to make some of these invisible university experiences visible for everyone to see.”

To watch a full walkthrough video of the AR tour on Dr Freeman’s YouTube channel click here

Bath Spa, which has more 7,000 students, is one of the UK’s leading creative universities. The Studio in Bath in Palace Yard Mews provides a space for local micro-businesses, Bath Spa University students, academics, and graduates to work on projects and ideas which focus on creativity and technology.



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