London, 20 March 2019 - Today, Verizon Media and Digital Catapult, the UK's leading advanced digital innovation centre, and Arts Council England announce a new partnership that will see RYOT Studio, Verizon Media's award-winning content studio and innovation lab, sponsoring CreativeXR as its 'Exclusive AR/ MR partner'. The deal will also facilitate the building of next-gen content experiences for RYOT Studio's clients in the UK.
As the UK's first pioneering immersive content accelerator, CreativeXR provides workshops, facilities, mentoring and funding to develop original, high quality prototypes in 'extended reality' (XR) formats. The programme is aimed at supporting the development of new virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences within the creative industries. The first two years of the programme have seen over 1,000 submissions from creators across the UK showcasing new and exciting consumer-facing experiences enabled by immersive technologies. Entries have included:
- Artistic pieces
- Cultural experiences (including those inspired by museum, gallery, library or heritage experiences)
- New forms of storytelling (fiction or non-fiction)
- New forms of interactive entertainment
20 successful applicants will receive up to £20,000 of early stage investment to develop their prototype, mentoring from industry leaders, access to Digital Catapult's nationwide network of Immersive Labs and technical experts, and opportunities to pitch for further development funding.
In addition to sponsoring CreativeXR, through its partnership with Digital Catapult, RYOT Studio will also work in and with this network of Immersive Labs to demo next-gen immersive branded content experiences which can be enhanced by 5G, for its clients.
Mark Melling, Head of RYOT Studio EMEA said: "Through the CreativeXR project, creators from all over the UK will be bringing their visions of next-gen XR experiences to life. It's so exciting for our team to be involved in giving a platform to creators and innovators to showcase their amazing ideas. With our immersive lab in Los Angeles, California, RYOT is already demonstrating how immersive experiences will be accelerated by 5G and through this partnership we will be able to work with Digital Catapult to also bring those possibilities to life for our clients in the UK.
"5G is still very conceptual in many people's minds, but make no mistake the technology to create is already here. It's not just about when we will have live 5G networks in the UK, and how fast your download speed on your phone will be, 5G technology is already facilitating real-time production of content experiences that will revolutionise the way we create and consume content."
Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult said: " Immersive technologies such as VR and AR are starting to be twisted and bent into new and unexpected forms, creating wholly original ways to engage audiences with stories. We're thrilled to be bringing in partners like RYOT Studio who can help us increase the impact of CreativeXR as a force to be reckoned with in prototyping ground-breaking immersive content and will bring great insights and ideas to the producers participating across the CreativeXR programme. The next stage on will see the combination of VR and AR with other new technologies like 5G and AI, which together will enable a whole new generation of experiences we are just beginning to glimpse."
Francis Runacres, Executive Director, Enterprise and Innovation at Arts Council England said: "The immersive sector thrives by bringing together artistic talent with technical innovation. As such partnerships between public and private organisations, working towards common aims, will be crucial in driving progress in the sector. We're very happy to have RYOT Studio on board for CreativeXR."
CreativeXR is currently reviewing applications for the programme submitted in February and will be announcing its shortlisted submissions later in the year.