Digital technology showcase returns to University of Northampton’s Waterside campus

Innovative sparks were flying at the University of Northampton today, as experts from within the local and national technology field assembled at Waterside campus in-person for the first time in three years.

Merged Futures is a free, one-day event which brings together experts in emerging technologies to explore the potential to further develop and innovate for the benefit of the town’s businesses, students and residents.

The annual event is organised by Digital Northants, a collaboration between the University of Northampton, West and North Northamptonshire Councils and local businesses.

A celebration of Northamptonshire’s innovators, creatives and entrepreneurs, Merged Futures brings together people from different sectors interested in digital, tech and innovation to share and spark ideas.

The first in-person Merged Futures took place in 2019 on campus at the University of Northampton, moving online and attracting a global audience in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Photograph of student in an Esports gaming chair

Priding itself on its interactivity and ‘get stuck in’ attitude, visitors to today’s event had the opportunity to become immersed in virtual reality using student-generated XR simulation, explore competitive video gaming in Esports with simulation racing, and get a grip on how artificial intelligence is helping to improve safety on our roads.

Experts were on hand to provide insight into how new technology, such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, can enhance the work of different sectors, including business, healthcare and education.

The event was also a valuable opportunity for connections between companies and educators with those interested in implementing digital transformation in their business or organisation.

Photograph of a student wearing a virtual reality headset

John Sinclair, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology, said: “The University is proud to have hosted the Digital Northants Merged Futures conference again this year, bringing together industry and academia to look at new applications of digital technologies in industry, transport, business, culture and more.

“This year, we welcomed representatives from businesses currently making a significant local impact – Voi, CityFibre and Starship Robots – as well as this year being joined by international technology innovator, Sony.

“In its fourth year, Merged Futures has gone from strength to strength, proving to be an invaluable opportunity not only to promote local but nationally important, innovative projects and initiatives taking place within the county.”

You can view the agenda and list of guest speakers from the day on the Digital Northampton website.

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