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Science Museum’s New Virtual Reality Experience: the Mathematics of Flight Revealed

The secrets of aeronautics will be revealed to visitors to the Science Museum’s Late evening on Wednesday, 22nd February, in keeping with the mathematics theme of this month’s ‘Late’ evenings. A new prototype virtual reality (VR) experience, created with the Samsung Gear VR, will demonstrate the mathematical principles behind a plane’s design and the aerodynamics of flight at the recently opened Mathematics: The Winton Gallery.

Taking its inspiration from the historic 1929 Handley Page ‘Gugnunc’ aircraft, which forms the iconic centrepiece of the new gallery, museum Lates attendees in February will reach new heights of understanding via the Samsung Gear VR, as they are virtually transported into the plane’s cockpit, learning about the maths behind keeping an aircraft in flight. The experience is set to be a real hit with the 5000 plus visitors who visit the Science Museum for Lates events every month.

New research from Samsung reveals the growing popularity of virtual reality to help everyone discover and learn about new things and places, with shipments of VR devices set to rise 390% by 2020. As VR enters the mainstream, museums and other attractions are embracing the new technology as a route to educate and entertain visitors.

The Handley Page ‘Gugnunc experience’ is just one of the innovations created as a result of the Science Museum’s new Digital Lab, a pioneering research project founded in partnership with Samsung, which explores new ways to use the latest digital technologies, such as VR, to engage and inspire the Science Museum’s global online audience and visitors of all ages. Other projects that Samsung is working on with the Science Museum, as part of the Digital Lab, include the use of emerging technologies, such as 3D scanning and high definition rotational photography, to digitise some of the most important artefacts on display in Mathematics: The Winton Gallery, including the Three Ring Enigma Machine, helping to bring objects from the Museum’s world-class collections to life like never before.

Science Museum
Exhibition Road
South Kensington
London SW7 2DD