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How VR and AR Technologies are Changing the Way We Tell Stories

Is the day of the paperback finally over?

With advancements in technology, the way we tell stories is changing. From multiple channels and in varying ways, storytelling is becoming more immersive, interactive and a whole lot more exciting.

One new way of telling stories is through augmented and virtual reality. Reaching further afield from the gaming industry in which it started, AR and VR are making waves in wide ranging sectors.

Here, we showcase some of the new projects making use of these technologies to create interactive user experiences.

The Audience of the Future Challenge

Before we dive into some VR projects, we want to explain what the audience of the future challenge is.

The UK government is investing a whopping £33 million into the creative industries as part of their Industrial Strategy to enhance the development of immersive technologies.

It’s predicted that over the next 20 years, AR and VR will transform the way we experience the world, from entertainment to education. The audience of the future challenge is attempting to connect creative businesses, researchers and tech experts to make innovations in the augmented and virtual reality industries.

The challenge is split into three phases or sections:

  • A demonstrator programme
  • Collaborative research and development
  • An industry centre of excellence

Here are some of the exciting projects that are being trialled as part of the demonstrator programme:

The Royal Shakespeare Company Live Streaming Project

The Royal Shakespeare Company are partnering with fifteen different organisations from various industries to stream live performances. These performances will be streamed to mobile phones, XR headsets and even schools around the UK. The RSC hopes to develop immersive theatre experiences across multiple platforms by 2020.

Theatre is one of the oldest forms of storytelling, and is now becoming more widely accessible thanks to these new technologies.

Shakespeare ar technologies

Sir David Attenborough at the Natural History Museum

The ‘Hold the World’ project by Factory 42 is developing an immersive, interactive world for participants to join within London’s Natural History Museum and Science Museum without leaving their sofa!

The legendary Sir David Attenborough will appear in hologram form to educate users on specimens in the museum’s collections. Butterfly’s, whales and even dinosaurs get the Attenborough treatment. This will allow people to get up close and personal with rare and delicate artefacts via a headset and controller.

In this way, VR is transforming educational experiences, making them more fun and engaging for wider reaching audiences.

A New Esports Gaming Platform

ESL, the world’s largest e-sports content producer is collaborating with researchers, academics and innovators to create a new gaming platform. This platform utilises gameplay data to enhance the gaming experience for remote users.

With £4 million in funding from Innovate UK, the consortium of Weavr, ESL and York University will develop a way for players to move between virtual and physical gaming and watch immersive esports on the go.

The University of York are bringing their knowledge of machine learning and UX to the table, while ESL are managing the project.

Funding Immersive Technologies

The audience of the future challenge is part of the government’s industrial strategy to support UK industries driving innovation in creative tech.

The fund is being delivered by Innovate UK, who are part of UK Research and Innovation, the organisation funding growth in the UK.

To explore more projects making use of these immersive technologies, subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel and see where the future of storytelling could take us!


David Mattock

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