Digital Placemaking, Augmented Reality & Mixed Reality News and Updates – Immersive Storylab
Jan 2018 10

Happy New Year.

Been super busy in the Immersive StoryLab, Manchester School of Art and CAVA over the last few months getting a few prototype R&D projects off the ground. Here’s a few of them that are currently in development for 2018:

Our Mythical Coast : Augmented Reality Storytelling and Digital Placemaking

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Britain’s coastline: 11,072 miles of cliffs, beaches, rocky coves, seaside promenades, and towns and villages; it’s a long, winding path with a vibrant history, capturing our powerful social and cultural connection with the sea. The coast of Britain is part of who we are, and very much a place of national contemplation, reflection and emotion. Coastal communities are saturated with evocative folklore. With stories of tunnel networks, sea caves, piracy, wrecking, slavery, smuggling and mythological creatures and characters. It’s a liminal space not fully explored.

We are currently working on a prototype with a number of partners, supported through the Creative XR content innovation programme from the Digital Catapult and Arts Council England, about a physical experience with this place. Using augmented reality’s capabilities at revealing new story worlds, unearthing hidden secrets and bringing invisible culture to life to enable us to re-encounter the landscape through a new kind of digital reality. Melding together fact and fiction, time and space, past and present this story carries an important message about protecting life in our seas.

If These Walls Could Talk…. Mixed Reality Placemaking Experiences

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A collaboration with the Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts (CAVA) at University of Liverpool, Culture Liverpool and Draw and Code. For this, we are creating an interactive mixed reality Hololens experience that will take place in the old 19th Century jail cells in the iconic Unesco Heritage building St. Georges Hall. Using cutting edge holographic capture technology to create performances and interactions with characters from the past, this experience will enable visitors to go back in time, to really feel what it was like in a 19th Century prison and justice system.

Digital Placemaking : Speculative Design Research

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Over the coming years, spatial computing and next generation Mixed Reality Immersive Technologies have significant potential to disrupt how we design experiences for place as a hybrid physical-digital encounter. MR enables content to become something that can spatially envelop the user, adding layers to reality that have participatory, interactive and networked capabilities and adding new meaning to the experience of ‘being there’. Combined with the contextualising potential of new forms of spatial computing, powered by artificial intelligence, this means our notions and senses of place are likely to change significantly over the coming years- leading to new kinds of experiences, interactions and connections with the built environment and each other.

But what does this mean for Urban Reality? and how can we design interventions that can help with issues related to place? This project is an exploratory working group of technologists, thinkers, tinkerers, companies and place stakeholders to create some speculations for what we want Urban Digital Reality to be as part of a project developed by the Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts (CAVA) at University of Liverpool.

Experiments

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We love the idea of voice as interface, so much so we’ve decided to incorporate it into a few of our projects. We have been experimenting with Google Home to create dynamic and personalised interactions with characters. See a bit of our AI Dynamic Storytelling Experiment here.

Other news

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Well done to Billy White, a graduate of MMU who has recently had his final year ‘Virtual Ride’ project showcased at Innovate UK’s annual gathering. Billy has been working with a number of companies with his idea, good luck to him.

Events

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In collaboration with bekt.io we’re helping to launch Immersive Liverpool, a group for people interested in Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality things, projects, experiments and networking. The first event takes place on 11th January 2018 at Sensor City in Liverpool City Centre.

Find out more about our Immersive Technology, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality adventures

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