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Welcome to the future: inside the UK's biggest Virtual Reality event

Virtual reality has lots of uses in modern life - practical and playful. Photo: ITV News

The UK's biggest virtual reality event - the VR World Congress - is taking place in Bristol today.

But what does VR mean for us? Here's a look at just some of it's uses being demonstrated at the conference - practical, and playful.

Fun and Games

Virtual Reality games development is one of the main ways in which consumers will experience VR.

360° filmmaking and other pioneering ways of getting the gamer involved in their playing experience are being trialled.

A gaming experience made more immersive by a VR headset Credit: ITV News

We really enjoy it for surprising people, immersing someone in content.

Being placed inside a garden is much more engaging than looking at it though a window, and we've been playing with interaction such as nodding to choose a path.

– Scott Fletcher, Play Nicely

Serious Business: training the next generation of CSI experts

Also being showcased at the event today are some of the ways in which Virtual Reality can be used in the science, medical and technological industries.

The University of West England is using virtual reality to train and test the next generation of forensic scientists.

Students sit in front of a computer screen and move an avatar around a crime scene, gathering and assessing evidence.

Virtual training - this student explores a simulated crime scene. Credit: ITV News

Using VR means it's significantly cheaper and easier for students to get experience lots of different types of crime scenes.

Students explore a designed crime scene using an avatar. Credit: ITV News

Reaching new highs and lows of engineering

VR is also being used in the South West to train Bath-based engineers to work on hard to access projects such as submarines and wind turbines.

The engineers wear virtual reality headsets to immerse themselves in the designed environment - getting to depths and heights they may not normally have access to in ordinary training.

In this video, an engineer works on a virtual wind turbine:

The choice of venue for the event reflects the fact that the Bristol and Bath area has become known as the European HQ of virtual reality.

But why the South West? We asked Scott Fletcher of Play Nicely based in Bristol: