Birmingham City University shows Indian tech giants virtual reality training for medical applications

By Zenobia Hedge

Representatives from two of India’s creative companies have visited Birmingham City University to learn more about how the UK university is training the next generation of virtual reality (VR) professionals, and with the hope of exploring potential partnerships in the future.

The head and creative director of JIO Studios (Aditya Bhat and Ankit Sharma respectively), along with the founder and managing director of philmCGI (Anand Bhanushali) spent time on Wednesday 8 November with senior academics as part of a visit organised by the UK’s Department of International Trade.

Based in Navi Mumbai, mobile network operator JIO is the world’s biggest data start-up company, attracting 138 million paid subscribers within less than a year of operations, and currently welcoming seven new customers each second. Part of Reliance, JIO’s parent company is the biggest private sector firm in India with a revenue of US$51 billion (€43.94 billion) in 2017.

JIO’s in house studio is planning to launch its own VR app in 2018 and is hoping to collaborate with experts at Birmingham City University by expanding their technical know-how, co-creating content and ensuring they are making best use of the latest technology. JIO also hopes it can work with students who are creating VR and augmented reality (AR) content by showcasing their projects on its new platform.

Meanwhile, philmCGI is an animation studio based out of both Mumbai and Pune, where some 90 artists provide computer-generated images and visual effects services in films and television for some of the biggest studios in Europe and Asia, and is also expanding its offer in VR and AR – two areas which are taught through Birmingham City’s University’s Digital Media Technology (DMT) Lab.

Indian Trade Delegation Visit 1

Based in the institution’s Faculty of Computing Engineering and the Built Environment, the DMT Lab is a research space focussed on finding new uses of digital technology. Among the projects taking place in the Lab, researchers are looking into the application of augmented and mixed reality systems, and digital audio processing.

The visitors from India were able to see some of the University’s leading research in this area, including a new mixed reality system which allows medical practitioners to view and interact with virtual replicas of patients’ organs, bones or body parts.

The business leaders also spent time in the University’s £62 million Parkside Building, home to the institution’s wealth of media and recording facilities, including four TV studios.

Anand Bhanushali, founder and managing director of philmCGI, said: “Birmingham City University has state-of-the-art media facilities; it is no wonder so many Indian students want to come to the UK to study.”

“Today we have discussed a number of opportunities for collaboration, such as STEAM-based problem solving. Lots of innovative solutions can be developed when applying fresh minds to companies such as ourselves.”

Birmingham City University was one of the first UK universities to offer media degrees and today boasts such cutting edge provisions as Europe’s largest static green screen.

Professor Julian Beer, deputy vice-chancellor, said: “Birmingham City University and indeed the wider West Midlands is at the forefront […]

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Posted on: November 9, 2017

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