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Cutting-edge technology will bring history to life at iconic Brighton Dome

Posted 13 Apr 2023

Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival (BDBF), one of the UK’s leading arts organisations, have joined forces to launch HeritageXR, a cohort of three pioneering immersive experiences inspired by the history and heritage of Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange.

The three cohort companies will recount the history of the Grade I listed Corn Exchange using advanced digital technologies including augmented reality (AR), ambisonic sound and 5G to create bespoke interactive experiences that will enable audiences to explore and engage with the venue’s rich heritage stories. Originally constructed as the Prince Regent’s Riding House and part of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Estate, the Corn Exchange boasts a rich and varied history including serving as a hospital during World War I and playing a key role during Brighton’s suffragette movement. The resulting virtual experiences will provide visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in Brighton Dome’s rich architectural and social history.

The FutureScope Heritage XR programme, also supported by Wired Sussex, is a 16-week initiative designed to drive ideas and innovation utilising 5G and immersive experiences within the UK heritage sector.

Through its collaboration with Digital Catapult, BDBF is swiftly emerging as a leader in the intersection of technology, arts, heritage and culture. The Brighton Dome previously hosted 5G Festival, a world first, and is the only cultural venue in the UK hosting a 5G testbed. Together, these projects are leading examples of the partners’ drive to adopt the latest technologies and support long term economic growth in the UK’s world-leading arts and entertainment industries.

Brighton-based Immersive Networks Collective Ltd is one of the successful companies working alongside Digital Catapult and BDBF. Already renowned for its pioneering storytelling and BAFTA nominated team, the company combines machine learning (ML) and big data analytics to transform complex information into interactive narratives, tailoring artwork to the venue in which it can be found and recreating the past.

Joining them in the cohort are OmBeond and SENSEcity. OmBeond is an award-winning production studio that combines well-being, multi-sensory design and immersive technology to build cutting-edge immersive experiences. Creating interactive walking experiences, SENSEcity uses dynamic augmented reality (AR) technology to create immersive walking tours, having already launched an app in Glasgow city centre.

After a period of intense development, these creative immersive experiences will be showcased at Brighton Dome in July 2023.

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About FutureScope:
FutureScope supports the growth of the UK’s leading tech innovators and businesses. It enables innovators working with advanced digital technologies to become investment-ready. Through market-leading expertise, FutureScope provides businesses with the technical and commercial skills needed to develop and scale, while connecting them with relevant industry partners, investors and potential customers. When companies join FutureScope, they will have access to Digital Catapult’s state-of-the-art resources at locations across the UK, as well as always-on support from our impressive network of innovators, technologists, investors, industry leaders and academics. The programme accepts businesses of all sizes.

The three creative companies participating in the programme are:

  • Immersive Networks Collective: Founded in 2020 to bring together the immersive technology experience of BAFTA nominated developers Reflex Arc, the creative excellence of Calibu Yau, and the academic clout of the Leeds University Centre for Immersive Technology, where the company have honorary positions as knowledge exchange fellows and artists in residence. Dedicated to transforming complex data into engaging immersive narratives, the company is one of the Createch “100 ones to watch” for 2020, and has active projects sponsored by NHS England, the Alan Turing Institute, the Global Food and Environment Institute and a number of departments at the University of Leeds.
  • OmBeond: An award-winning production studio and consultancy working at the intersection of immersive technology, multi-sensory design and wellbeing. They produce immersive experiences and products to help people become happier, healthier and more productive. Collaborating with an eclectic network of leading researchers, arts organisations and technologists to create the most agile teams possible, we work on impactful projects which put human-centric design first.
  • SENSEcity: At the forefront of augmented reality development, combining expert knowledge and innovation into a new dimension to explore. Their mission is to connect people and places through meaningful stories and interactive experiences.

About Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival:
Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival manage a year-round programme of events across three venues – the Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre; the annual Brighton Festival in May; and music education hub, Create Music, teaching children and young people across the region.

Located on the Royal Pavilion Estate, the venues have a rich history spanning over 200 years, starting life as the Prince Regent’s stables and riding house and providing an extraordinary space in which to bring the arts alive. The Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre are soon to reopen, following a major capital refurbishment project.

As a registered charity, we aim to champion the power of the arts, to enrich and change lives, and to inspire and enable artists to be their most creative. We commission and support both emerging and established artists and companies, enabling them to develop, take risks and deliver work of the highest quality. /

Wired Sussex
Wired Sussex is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that supports the digital, media and tech sector south of London. It delivers a range of services to help businesses in the region to access the talent, investment and support they need to succeed. Wired Sussex provides innovation support through its Brighton-based advanced technology hub, the FuseBox.