More than just a toy – virtual reality

Press Release

We’re kicking off 2017 with a series of three events at the DMC organised in collaboration with Sheffield Digital. Here’s the media release we’ve issued to promote the first one. Join us!


Much more than just a toy – business people invited to learn more about virtual reality

Virtual reality and its potential to transform the way we do business will be discussed at a free event in Barnsley this month.
Technology entrepreneurs and anyone interested in exploring how this new technology could play a role in their business are invited to the evening event at the Digital Media Centre (DMC) on Thursday January 12.
‘Virtual Reality – Beyond Entertainment’ has been organised by the DMC, Barnsley’s leading digital and creative business hub, in collaboration with Sheffield Digital, an organisation dedicated to promoting digital industries across the region.
The event will consider the many possible applications of VR in areas such as design, training, product development and marketing and highlight existing uses of VR in healthcare, education and engineering. Attendees will also have a chance to ‘have a go’ and don a VR head set.
Tracey Johnson, DMC project manager, said: “Virtual reality has been around a while now, but its enormous potential as a business tool really needs to be explored more widely, and this is a great time to focus on the fact that it is so much more than just a novelty toy which some people got for Christmas.
“Virtual reality applications of all kinds could enhance and transform the way we communicate, innovate, test, design and deliver products, services and ideas in all business sectors.”
Speakers at the event will include Ivan Phelan from Sheffield Hallam University who is working on a ground-breaking project that uses the Oculus Rift virtual reality system to help amputees learn how to use prosthetic limbs. He will be joined by Sheffield-based Lee Mullin from construction technology specialists’ Autodesk, who will talk about how VR capabilities are already being applied in manufacturing and construction. And the line-up will be completed by Ben Widdowson from Lightwork Design, Sheffield, who will explain how his company has combined 3D visualisation tools with a games engine to create an affordable way to build VR applications for all.
The speakers will bring equipment along so attendees can experience their technologies for themselves.
This event is the first of three to be organised by Barnsley DMC and Sheffield Digital, to encourage local digital and creative businesses, as well as people interested in the digital industries, to innovate, network and collaborate.
Mel Kanarek, of Sheffield Digital, said: “It’s great that the first of our Barnsley events for 2017 should focus on such an exciting technology which I think most people are aware of, but perhaps not thought about as a tool with potential applications for their business. We look forward to discussing current developments in virtual reality with tech developers and digital entrepreneurs, through to any business people who want to learn more about how it could help them.”
The Digital Media Centre is a creative and digital business hub and part of a portfolio of business support and accommodation available through Enterprising Barnsley, which is part of Barnsley Council.
Sheffield Digital is an organisation for businesses and individuals involved in Sheffield’s digital industries which aims to help develop the best possible environment for setting up, working in and growing digital businesses in Sheffield and the surrounding region.
‘Virtual Reality – Beyond Entertainment’ will be held at the Digital Media Centre, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW, on Thursday January 12, 5.30pm – 8pm. Refreshments will be served.

Notes to Editor

The Digital Media Centre is a hub for creative, digital and innovative businesses managed by Enterprising Barnsley, part of Barnsley Council, which aims to help Barnsley businesses start-up, develop and expand; generating economic growth and creating jobs. The DMC is home to more than 40 businesses including several digital technology enterprises and delivers a wide range of business events and workshops.
Sheffield Digital is an organisation set up to connect, represent and promote businesses and individuals involved in Sheffield’s digital industries. It aims to help develop the best possible environment for setting up, working in and growing digital businesses in Sheffield and the surrounding region. To do this, it brings together the people and businesses that make up Sheffield’s digital industries, to foster networking, collaboration and learning; it provides a single, powerful voice for the digital community in order to influence policy makers and educators; and it shouts about the region’s digital businesses and their capabilities locally, nationally and internationally.
Future DMC / Sheffield Digital collaborative events will be held in February and March.

For further information about the Digital Media Centre and the event, contact Tracey Johnson / Ben Hawley on 01226 720700 or and

For further information about Sheffield Digital and the event please contact Mel Kanarek on or call 07710 695030.