New projects making a mark on immersive storytelling

Four innovative and ambitious projects, led by small and medium-sized businesses in the Yorkshire region, are set to make a real impact on the future of immersive and interactive storytelling thanks to winning support from XR Stories.

HumanVR are looking at whether it’s possible for an audience to experience the ‘personality’ of a remote location using virtual reality. We’re supporting their project, Space, Time and Streets in the Sky, a new cutting-edge 360 degree VR experience, to answer that question. The experience will tell the stories of an iconic Sheffield housing estate, Park Hill, via the sense of a ‘spatial presence’ generated by VR and the audio stories of current residents. This project is making it possible to experience the ‘personality’ of a remote iconic location without even having to travel there!

Currently, there are no immersive dome-based audio visual projection spaces dedicated to cultural exhibition in England, but Live Cinema UK are going to change that! We’re supporting their project, Surround Stories Lab, to develop content for fulldomes and to erect a temporary, portable fulldome to allow artists to develop their work in the Yorkshire region for the first time. Ultimately, the project team aims to open England’s first permanent fulldome space dedicated to cultural development and exhibition. This will be one of only three such venues in the world.

Streamer content creators on platforms such as Twitch are modern digital storytellers, but they’re limited by the tools currently available. BetaJester are going to tackle this, and we’re supporting their new project, EARS (Esports Audience Response System). The project will build on existing streaming platform tools, such as live chatting, live polling and more, and allow esports streamers to pose questions, send information, and create polls to gather responses in real-time. The new tools will allow streamers to make their content more agile and interesting, in turn helping them turn passive viewers into engaged ones.

We’re also funding XR Games, an award-winning game design studio, to work on a high profile project that will innovate a cutting-edge form of immersive entertainment for young audiences. The project will uncover brand new ways of telling stories. Although information about the project is confidential at this stage, the XR Stories funding will be used to develop a prototype, which will undergo usability testing with families in Yorkshire. We will be able to release more details about this project at a later date, so look out for more information.

The projects that these four Yorkshire and the Humber-based digital technology companies are working on illustrate why our region is at the cutting-edge of the global creative landscape. We’re anticipating exciting developments, and will be sure to keep you up to date with the projects as they progress.

Published on 4 November 2020

Filed under: Digital storytelling, Funding news, R&D Projects, XR Stories