Clicks & Links
Smart cycling with VR
Clicks and Links are an SME based in Manchester where they develop virtual reality and augmented reality media experiences. Clicks and Links have been going since 2000. They have been involved in ‘virtual worlds’, working in video game environment Second Life and taking advantage of the move towards a more interactive, immersive virtual reality. As VR has taken off and become more accessible, they are starting to build up some momentum, already working on some exciting projects utilising VR and AR, including a tool for nuclear decommissioning at Sellafield and work with Crossrail.
Billy White is their Software Tester and Demonstrator. He was working at Manchester Metropolitan University on his final year project of his Creative Multimedia degree, using Google cardboard and recorded footage with a 360 camera to create fun VR experiences. Smart city programme and IoTUK programme partner CityVerve introduced Billy to Clicks and Links. They lent him equipment and tech support from Cisco, helped to develop Billy’s final year project and took him onboard as team member straight from university as they were so impressed with his skills.
Progress so far
Clicks and Links are currently working with CityVerve on a VR bike simulation. They have built a proof of concept and have been travelling around to gain valuable feedback, including to Innovate 2017 with the IoTUK programme.
The bike is being used in conjunction with Mobike who run a shared bike scheme in Manchester. Working with a number of partners at CityVerve enabled this bike simulator to use real-world scan data to deliver real-feel experiences to the users. It is being used in the development of the cycling scheme as well as for safety training.
The applications for this are wide and varied. As smart cities are developed and future developments begin, including a drive to move people out of their cars and into greener options like cycling, the work done by Billy and Clicks and Links helps to monitor cyclists behaviour using use live traffic data. The system can be used to test new junctions where cyclists can be at the mercy of drivers. The tech can also be used to test how cyclists respond to autonomous vehicles as we start to move towards them being on our roads.
The UK’s VR / AR industry is now rapidly gaining traction. Companies such as Clicks and Links are paving the way for the immersive industry to demonstrate real value and impact, by using VR /AR to solve tangible industry and consumer challenges. As immersive products move beyond the realms of gaming, the UK has the potential to lead the way and become the best place in the world to produce immersive content and experiences.
Programme Manager – Immersive, Digital Catapult