21 May, 2008 – From Salford to Silicon Valley
Two postgraduate students from the University of Salford are going to Silicon Valley, California, as a prize for their innovative creative technology project.
The collaboration between Alan Hook and Pete Wardle, who are both part-time students on the Creative Technology Master’s programme, was one of four winners in an international competition launched by The Tech Museum of Innovation, in San Jose.
Their creation, Connecting Point: Hole in (Virtual) Space, is a high-tech concept that bridges the gap between virtual reality – online community Second Life – and the real world.
Alan said: "The piece consists of three screens – two will be set up in the real museum and one will be in the virtual museum, which appears in Second Life. The screens show live feeds between the two spaces.
"Basically, it’s a way of letting the avatars of Second Life users around the world interact with real people who are visiting the museum. Visitors will be able to communicate with characters in Second Life and vice versa."
As well as seeing their project up and running in the California museum, Alan and Pete have scooped £2,500 in prize money.
Professor Paul Sermon of the School of Art & Design runs the MA Creative Technology. He said: "What Alan and Pete have tried to do is merge a Second Life experience with an experience in first life. It involves complex video streaming from a live source into Second Life.
"This is a new and emerging area for us and has social and creative implications. We’re very pleased for Alan and Pete."
Source: University of Salford press release