Project by University of Portsmouth helps provide greater understanding of dementia

Havant and East Hampshire Mind have been given �323,000 by Sport England to help families of a low income stay active. The charity will work alongside Havant's branch of Oarsome Chance as part of the project based in Leigh Park.''Picture by Malcolm Wells (180522-9760)

£323,000 boost to help Havant families stay active and improve wellbeing

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A NEW project, which brings together virtual reality, motion capture and audience participation, is helping to provide a greater understanding of dementia.

The University of Portsmouth’s Fatherland wowed audiences at the Creative XR Showcase, in London, where it was shown to industry partners, commissioners, investors and members of the public.

The event was the culmination of the first stage of the project which was awarded £19,500 by the Creative XR fund (of which £10,000 went directly to the university) to develop a prototype.

Fatherland brings together virtual reality and real-time motion capture with audience participation and live audio and video projection to create a theatrical experience exploring dementia and disembodiment in the modern world.

It has been developed by a team from the university’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries.

Alex Counsell, faculty technical adviser in the School of Creative Technologies, said: ‘The overall response from potential investors and commissioners has been incredibly positive.

‘We have a lot of follow-up conversations and meetings to go through, to secure the next stage of the project to take this prototype to final product.

‘The range of emotions and reactions from audiences to participants throughout the day was amazing, from laughter to tears.’

As part of the Creative XR process, Fatherland has been automatically entered into a £350,000 funding pot from the Digital Catapult.