Epic Games and Wellcome Trust, a biological research charity, have finished their Big Data VR Challenge and awarded $20, 000 to LumaPie. Look at the video of that thing happening, here:

This Big Data VR challenge saw groups of researchers and developers compete to construct VR visualizations of a study’s data, using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. The aim was to generate new ways for scientific data to be represented.

LumaPie is made up of the studio Masters of Pie and the 3D development consultancy Lumacode. They presented data from this longitudinal study of Bristol residents using the Unreal 4 engine and VR.

“LumaPie has delivered an interactive simulation with tangible outputs that can be applied and adapted to other studies as well. The results of this challenge are what we were hoping for and so much more”, says Iain Dodgeon, Creative Partnerships Manager at Wellcome Trust.

Other initiatives that sprung from this competition include the Casebooks Project, which looks at 80, 000 medical records from four centuries ago, and genome browsers, from Wellcome Trust’s Sanger Institute. The genome browsers looked to compare human and fruit-fly DNA.

Despite the conclusion of the study, the Epic Games Founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, voices the hope that the results from it will inspire researchers. He says:

This combination of hard science with the type of 3D development normally seen in the video game world will hopefully inspire new ways for visualization of data to evolve as VR becomes a part of our everyday life.

Since this is a thing to do with VR, the obligatory picture of someone with a headset on will follow:


He’s probably looking at something real cool.