Virtual reality specialist in Penzance lands airport innovation award
Penzance based virtual reality specialists, Ocean3D, fought off the London competition to return to Cornwall as the Innovation Gateway winner of this year’s New Civil Engineer Future of Airports conference.
Ocean3D are leaders in Virtual Reality photography scanning and use this new technology to create interactive 3D tours of all kinds of spaces. Their main focus is creating 3D tours of public spaces, in order to help make them more accessible for those with disability, mental health conditions or who suffer with travel anxiety.
Chris Wood, Director of Ocean3D, explains: “accessibility is a very broad term and can include the neural typical, young families and those who face exceptional day-to-day challenges, such as mental health issues and any form of disability. Being able to visualise something as simple as where the toilets are and plan your journey can really help relieve the stresses for everyone”.
Ros Osborne (SEND and Accessibility professional, Non-Executive Director) and Chris Wood’s competition entry highlighted the £249 Billion market open to businesses who fully embrace equality and accessibility for visitors with more complex needs. The judges, all influential leaders in the aviation sector, were particularly impressed by Ocean3D’s customer focused approach and the products direct impact to those that may need additional support when planning their airport experience.
“Ocean3D’s product addresses a community that hitherto have not been given a huge amount of support in a very innovative way and will have a real impact on the customers.” Jason Fowler – British Aviation Group Deputy Chair.
Ocean3D were assisted in their research, business planning and bid creation by Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI), a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme in Cornwall, led by the University of Plymouth. It was later revealed that the company almost didn’t apply for the competition, having only found out about the opportunity just hours before the application deadline: “ATI rang up at 5pm saying they thought we should apply, but that we needed 500 words before midnight and we submitted our idea at 11:59pm. It really was close to the wire stuff”, says Chris Wood.
“ATI have helped us focus and progress” he adds and the celebrations continue whilst, following the competition win, the company was approached by a number of senior delegates and is now in talks with a range of major international and national airports, architects and construction companies.
In light of their recent success, The National Autistic Society has also awarded Ocean 3D their ‘Autism Friendly Award’, which is a fantastic commendation for their innovative solution, calling their submission a “pioneering pass and an exemplary one too, given your (Ros) knowledge and commitment …” Ocean3D are the first business without a premises to have been awarded this accolade.