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Penzance-based Ocean3D has supercharged its accessibility service after investing in a new state of the art camera.

New camera recreates Cornish gems in 3D for people with disability

A new 3D camera will help people living with disabilities in Cornwall gain unprecedented access to some of the county’s gems, from the artworks in Tate St Ives to the Penlee Lifeboat station.

The new, £3,000 camera is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Inclusivity Project at the University of Exeter. The Inclusivity Project supports local small businesses to develop services that boost inclusivity, accessibility, or workplace wellbeing.

The 3D camera will enable specialist photography company Ocean3D to create virtual tours of some of Cornwall’s finest archaeological and historical sites, many of which have been difficult for people with disabilities to access.

Current projects include working with Tate St. Ives to make art more accessible, and working with transport providers to make public transport and flights more accessible for people with hidden conditions or injuries. Ocean3D will use the new camera to create accessible tours including archaeological and historical locations, The RNLI Penlee Lifeboat Station and Penzance Heliport, with scanning due to start before the end of Summer.

Ruth Gripper, from the University of Exeter’s Inclusivity Project, said: “The Inclusivity Project helps Cornish companies grow by developing new products and services that support health and inclusion at work.

“We were delighted to support Ocean3D through our Idea Generation Grant scheme, which provides funding to help local businesses get their ideas off the ground. This new camera will allow Ocean3D to provide the best possible service for companies and venues looking to increase their accessibility and for the people who might be visiting them.”

With the funding from the Inclusivity Project, Ocean3D has now upgraded to the latest state-of-the-art Matterport Pro 3D camera. The new camera will provide greater accuracy and higher resolution images, and help Ocean3D develop its accessibility service.  Ocean3D’s interactive tours are used for accessibility, marketing, safety, and anxiety reduction by a wide range of sectors including education, health, law-enforcement, transport and tourism.

Chris Wood, of Ocean3D said: “Visiting new places can be stressful for people with certain disabilities, mental health conditions or autism spectrum disorder.  The virtual reality tours allow visitors to explore the venue in advance, enabling them to check accessibility for wheelchairs or specialist equipment, or familiarise themselves with a new environment.

“My partner and NED, Rosalind Osborne, was invaluable in identifying the ability of this technology to help people with hidden conditions and for linking us with nationally acclaimed colleges who now use our technology and experience to make locations more accessible. This new camera will allow us to offer a greater degree of accuracy and clarity to the people who most need it.”


Date: 12 August 2020

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