A partnership between WMG at the University of Warwick and Johnson Tiles will develop pioneering techniques for customers to visualise their tiles in the actual setting for which they are designed.
The project has been made possible thanks to a prestigious Royal Society Industry Fellowship, awarded to Professor Alan Chalmers, Professor of Visualisation at WMG , and Innovation Director of Warwick spinout goHDR Ltd..
Professor Chalmers’ work focuses on the development of High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging, a technology that allows real world lighting conditions to be captured and displayed on televisions, computer monitors, and mobile devices.
Johnson Tiles is interested in using the technology to enhance its customer experience, providing a ‘virtual reality’ system that will give customers confidence and flexibility in their design choices.
The fellowship will enable Professor Chalmers to work closely with Johnson Tiles to design a digital system in which customers can clearly engage in the design and choice of their tiles. Jonathan Wood of Johnson Tiles described the system, “It will capture and display the actual lighting conditions of the room the customer wants to tile, including all the bright spots and the shadows. So, when you are choosing, say, a blue tile for a bathroom you will be able to view its colour and pattern in the actual bespoke light conditions of that room in a way which the eye can see but standard cameras can’t. It enables you to make the right choice much more easily and avoids expensive mistakes. You will even be able to share your design ideas with friends via social media.”
The Royal Society Fellowship is designed to enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between industry and academia and enables Professor Chalmers to put his considerable expertise in HDR technology to address a real industrial challenge.
“The system we are designing brings to life a great, practical application for High Dynamic Range technology,” says Professor Chalmers. “It will give customers much more freedom to experiment with their design ideas in an interactive, authentic, and very versatile way.
“What’s more, WMG will benefit from the wealth of industry data this project will provide, as well as from Johnson Tiles’ strong industry links. We anticipate this project will be a springboard to further long term collaborations.”
The project builds on an existing partnership, funded by the Technology Strategy Board, between Professor Chalmers, WMG and Johnson Tiles, looking at high fidelity visualisation of tiling. It is expected that, by the end of the four-year fellowship, a commercial prototype of the system will have been produced.
The fellowship is funded by the Royal Society, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, Rolls-Royce plc and BP plc.
For more information about HDR imaging go to www.gohdr.com