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Defence workers trial virtual reality meetings

on .

Participants in the Dstl  VR trialParticipants in the Dstl VR trialWorkers at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down have successfully trialled meeting using virtual reality.

Staff at the Ministry of Defence agency, which aims to maximise the impact of science and technology for the defence and security of the UK, met in cyberspace to collaborate on building a virtual aircraft engine.

The trial involved staff at Dstl's Porton Down headquarters and colleagues at six other sites across the UK.

Participants could talk to one another, point at objects, and pick them up using a VR headset and hand controllers.

Mike Ferguson, from Immersive Technologies at Dstl, said: "Collaborating in a virtual volumetric space, using the latest VR technology, is very new.

"In the future we’ll be in a virtual space as ourselves and be able to see lifelike avatars. It’s connecting with people. It’s making the world smaller."

Dstl says Augmented Reality (AR) and VR could allow doctors to operate remotely, connected to surgical equipment at other locations, while the UK could respond to terrorism incidents anywhere in the world, virtually placing an expert on the scene who can assess forensic opportunities or advise on an unusual explosive device.