Imersifi and Swansea University have partnered to release a new virtual reality (VR) experience designed to inspire the younger generation to pursue STEM careers, particularly in the semiconductor industry. The industry plays a vital role in today’s technology, powering many of the devices we use in our everyday lives. The VR application, created with the goal of engagement, immersion and fun, guides users through a clean room gowning experience followed by an introduction to the lithography process. Through this interactive experience, children can learn about the strict environmental conditions and equipment needed to make semiconductors, and the important role they play in modern society. The player is guided by a robot character, providing a fun and easy way for the user to learn and understand the semiconductor industry and its processes.
The semiconductor industry is a critical driving force behind the technology that powers many of the devices we use in our everyday lives. From smartphones and laptops to cars and medical equipment, semiconductors are an essential component of modern technology. The industry is constantly evolving and growing, and there is a significant demand for skilled professionals to help drive innovation and advance the field.
However, getting young people interested in pursuing careers in the semiconductor industry can be a challenge. The problem is that many students do not know much about the semiconductor process, its importance or what the industry even looks like. This is where the team at Imersifi, in collaboration with Prof. Owen Guy (Swansea University), created an engaging VR application where individuals can experience a semiconductor clean room and learn a simplified lithography process. The VR app showcases the important environmental and equipment conditions that a clean room facility needs to follow, the process of gowning and lithography – all whilst stressing the precision and high-tech aspect of the industry.
The VR experience takes users on a journey through realistic environments modelled on Swansea University’s facilities, complete with a robot character guide, fun voiceover, and animation. The interactions are simple and intuitive, making the experience accessible and engaging for children of many ages. With gamified processes, mini-games and background music, the immersive experience is enhanced whilst retaining important lessons about the clean room and lithography process.
When students are bored or lack interest in their subject matter, they tend to forget or miss out on content. Interactive and immersive activities are proven to engage people emotionally and motivate them to learn. Allowing learners to apply taught concepts in real-life situations. These activities also encourage collaboration and problem-solving. Rather than attempting to make sense of a complex written equation or find the real application of specific teaching, VR breaks down barriers and provides a safe environment to showcase and inspire.
Joe Charman, Imersifi Co-Founder stated: “The partnership between Imersifi and Swansea University has resulted in an exciting new VR experience that will give young people an interactive and immersive introduction to the semiconductor industry. Imersifi is always looking to bring the benefits of fully immersive 6DoF VR to a range of users and industries, and this is a fine example of where it can be leveraged. We hope this experience will inspire children to consider careers in STEM subjects and open up the world of opportunities that the semiconductor industry has to offer. It’s a unique approach in educating the next generation about the significance of a pivotal industry and we’re looking forward to seeing the impact it will have and how different schools and organizations use it.”
Swansea University Professor Owen Guy added “The VR game is a fantastic way of engaging with people of all ages and demystifying the amazing semiconductor technologies that power everything from our smartphones to Electric Vehicles and satellites. The VR game will also signpost the growing career opportunities in the expanding semiconductor industry in South Wales”.
Working with PICO, this experience is now available on the official PICO store for anyone to download and use for free. Built to work with the PICO Neo 3 and PICO 4 headsets, with a one-click installation, the experience brings exposure to the semiconductor industry to large audiences. It allows schools or other organisations to embed this into workshops or teaching.
To install the experience:
- At the home menu, navigate to the App Store.
- Search and select the “Learn Lithography” application.
- Once the download is complete, the installation will start automatically.
- Once installed, the app will appear in your library and be ready to be used.
Imersifi is a software studio that specializes in creating fully interactive experiences within virtual reality. Founded by graduates (Jack Bengeyfield and Joe Charman) of Swansea University’s virtual reality MSc, Imersifi was created with the goal of delivering more natural and effective VR training solutions for businesses. Imersifi stands out for its expertise in interaction design, data integration, and user-centric instructional design paired with realistic computer-generated environments. The team has a proven track record of delivering innovative VR training applications for a variety of industries, including medical, health and safety, and engineering. Their unique offering is the ability to create fully bespoke, tailored, and easily updated VR experiences that help forward-thinking organisations take advantage of this technology.
The collaboration has also seen the University work with regional rugby team Dragons RFC by providing a VR headset, loaded with the Learn Lithography app, for the winner of its highly successful eSports competition.