How AR and VR Technology Is Transforming the Way We Tell Stories

February 28, 2019

Are the days of the paperback numbered? Increasingly, digital technologies are replacing traditional methods of communication. But is this such a bad thing?

Immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are being used by companies and organisations from wide ranging sectors to communicate with audiences in an attempt to foster deeper connection.

We’ve rounded up some of the best projects and schemes that are utilising new, immersive technologies in exciting new ways.

Telling Ancient Stories at the Natural History Museum

World renowned for it’s collections of ancient fossils, the Natural History Museum in London is no dinosaur when it comes to engaging the public through technology.

Their new project, in collaboration with the production studio Factory 42 , brings the museum to the public via VR headsets and controllers.

Creating a virtual museum world which people can visit from the comfort of their own home aims to increase accessibility and spark interest in museums for the younger generation.

Virtual visitors will be able to peer at exhibits up close, and even move them around and enlarge them for a better look! And who better to lead this virtual tour than Sir David Attenborough himself! (In holographic form may we add).

The ‘Hold the World’ project brings together gaming and education to engage, inspire and inform.

The Esports Industry Gets a Revamp

The world of esports is a giant in the gaming industry, with a predicted worldwide audience of 250 million by 2021!

But how can immersive technologies improve viewers experience?

ESL is developing a new esports platform in collaboration with Weavr and the University of York which makes use of immersive technologies to transport viewers deeper into the virtual world of esports matches.

By allowing viewers to interact with matches, the experience becomes more immersive, engaging and therefore thrilling! The new project will also allow participants to watch games when they’re out and about.

Introducing VR Technologies to Theatre and Performance

The Royal Shakespeare Company may not be the first organisation to come to mind when thinking about innovative digital technology. However, their collaborative project with multiple partners from wide ranging industries such as tech, education, music and gaming is employing VR to spread theatre to wider audiences around the UK.

By streaming live performances to XR headsets, this scheme hopes to bring theatrical storytelling to schools, organisations and the public across the country and beyond.

Who is the Audience of the Future?

The audience of the future expect to be spoken to through the latest digital technologies. With household names choosing VR and AR as tools to communicate with audiences, being stuck in the past could seriously harm your visibility.

This shift in the way we communicate isn’t necessarily a negative one. Immersive technologies can be used as a tool to educate and delight in a way that younger generations can really connect with. Feeling truly immersed in experiences heightens emotional attachments and could be a serious force for good in all sorts of sectors.

Funding the Future of Storytelling

The funding for these projects has come from Innovate UK, as part of the Audience of the Future Challenge Fund. This fund is part of the government strategy to boost creative technology industries in the UK. £33 million has been invested in multiple projects to place the UK as a leader in VR and AR.

Innovate UK are part of UK Research and Innovation, a governmental funding body.

This guest blog comes from Charles from Innovate UK, Innovate UK are part of UK Research and Innovation, a governmental funding body. To see more projects supported by this scheme, subscribe to the Innovate UK Youtube channel.

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