Last week, I plummeted 100ft in a rickety crane; cold air whipping my face as I neared a construction site below, stopping inches before it collided with the ground.
Before the health and safety police show up, I should make clear that the experience was entirely virtual – happening an inch before my eyes courtesy of an innovative bit of VR kit.
Our neighbours are world leaders in sensory experiences, although my most frequent interaction with them is practical – giving directions as their lost visitors knock on our door (head back onto Mere Lane and take the next left).
So when they invited us to visit their high-tech offices, located a stone’s throw from Creative Bridge HQ, Bittesby House, I jumped at the chance to get to know their world as well as the virtual ones they create.
Multi-channel displays and spatial audio speakers (and naturally the odd wind machine) are ingeniously combined to create a fully immersive, memorable experience that convinced us to believe in things that simply weren’t there.
Even though all logic told me that I was still planted in the sleepy Lutterworth countryside, the moment before I ‘hit’ the ground pumped me with enough adrenaline to make my heart race.
In the same hour, I became a fox, exploring an endless green forest. Afterwards, an archer, aiming at targets with a flaming bow. Though it feels bizarre initially (partly because people laugh as you blindly stagger around, interacting with thin air), it is an incredible amount of fun.
Beyond entertainment, VR has vast potential for application in sectors such as education, construction and healthcare. I love all things creative and so thoroughly enjoyed familiarising myself with this innovation. Excited to see what they do next, and watch this space for details of what we’re planning on achieving together…