Our founders will be donating their time to run free creative innovation workshops (conducted over video call of course) to explore low cost, high impact tech-driven solutions to the Coronavirus challenge.
Arcade founders Jon Meggitt, Simon Hobbs and Alex Book are delighted to have been identified as one of 15 creative industries ‘ones to watch’ in 2020 by Great British Entrepreneurs. Working in conjunction with Starling Bank, Great British Entrepreneurs run a portfolio of products, events and initiatives designed to support entrepreneurs and their ventures, including producing lists of leading entrepreneurs in Britain, across multiple different industries.
“It’s always nice when hard work is recognised,” said Arcade CEO, Jon Meggitt. “When you’re focused on building a business, especially in an emergent space like immersive technology, it’s easy to fixate on the challenges and lose sight of the accomplishments we’re making every day. Thanks to Great British Entrepreneurs and Starling Bank for reminding us that we’re doing a decent job, and congratulations to all the other creative industries entrepreneurs out there, both on this incredible list and beyond.”
The Music Walk of Fame is Camden’s newest heritage attraction and is fast becoming one of the hottest music accolades on the planet. This week three new bands and artists were inducted, with stones being laid in the Camden pavements alongside The Who’s inaugural award last November.
Coinciding with BBC 6 Music’s music week, also taking place in iconic Camden Town, ceremonies are being held for Madness, Amy Winehouse and Soul II Soul in the space of just five days.
Fans can join the Madness ‘nutty train’ – the iconic image from the cover of One Step Beyond, spend some time with much-missed idol Amy Winehouse, captured in a famous mural appropriately titled Fallen Angel by street artist Pegasus, and get Back to Life with 80s legends Soul II Soul.
We are VERY excited to have begun our partnership with Magic Leap, creators of some of the most advanced and exciting AR glasses on the planet. Whilst the majority of our work remains focused on mobile, on the basis that phones are by far the most widely available medium for experiencing AR, we now have Magic Leap devices in the office – we do still get work done, honest! – and are busy building our first experience.
If you haven’t heard of them, they are the guys who made a huge splash – literally – in 2016 with an astonishing film of high school children seeing a virtual humpback whale leaping out of a gymnasium floor. The excitement that followed far outpaced the reality of the technology – but we’re pleased to say that it’s fast catching up.
The basic principles of AR remain the same whether experienced via mobile device or wearable headset: digital content that can be experienced in three-dimensional, physical space. But what Magic Leap offers, in addition to freeing your hands from holding your phone or tablet, is a deeper understanding of the environment it is in. It uses incredibly advanced spatial technology to create a three dimensional map of its surroundings, including walls, floors, doorways, furniture, objects, even people (if they sit still enough!), and uses this model to interact with its digital experiences.
So holes can open up in the walls, characters can climb onto desks (and fall off again) and, most impressively, digital objects can disappear behind real world objects – what we call ‘occlusion’. This might sound trivial, but believability is a critical challenge for immersive, and of course the AR helicopter I am piloting should disappear when it flies behind a wall. If it doesn’t, the spell is broken; Magic Leap keeps the AR illusion intact in ways mobile devices cannot.
Having spent the past few years creating impressive, high profile consumer experiences in partnership with some of the world’s leading creators, they are beginning to shift focus to include enterprise clients, bringing more corporate and industrial experiences to the platform. They anticipate a mix of different types of application and experiences emerging over the coming years, and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved.
Arcade is honoured and privileged to join some of the country’s most illustrious names in immersive technology as Founder Members of the new and evolved Immerse UK.
Over the past three years, Immerse UK has established itself as the UK’s leading membership organisation dedicated to supporting those developing, creating and embracing immersive technologies, with over 4000 active members.
Fiona Kilkelly, Head of Immerse UK said, “We are very excited about the next growth stage of Immerse UK. Our support from Innovate UK over the last 3 years has been instrumental in helping us develop a good foothold in the industry and understand what the industry really needs to help it grow and develop on an international scale. We have a strong network of Founder Members and a supportive network of partners who will help us deliver a membership network that is designed for the industry by the industry.”
Sol Rogers, Chair of Immerse UK commented, “The UK is steaming ahead in the area of immersive technology and we need organisations such as Immerse UK to help us cement our position as a world leader in this space. Immerse UK has shone a light on the exceptional talent that is developing in the UK and is helping it grow through identifying opportunities and connecting the industry as a whole. Immerse UK also has the ability to lobby government to support this high growth industry.”
As a Founder Member, Arcade sits alongside many of the most prestigious organisations in the immersive tech landscape: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Innovation, AMRC, BAE Systems, CAMERA at University of Bath, Digital Catapult, Epic Games, Factory 42, Imagination, InnovationRCA, HVM Catapult, HTC Vive, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Microsoft, National Theatre, Pre-Loaded , PWC, REWIND, Royal Holloway, Royal Shakespeare Company, Sheridans, Sublime, Unity and University of York.
Along with our fellow Founder Members and the thousands of Immerse UK partners, we look forward to lending our voice and experience to helping lead the UK immersive tech industry forwards.
A huge dinosaur has popped up at the Natural History Museum…and it’s getting festive!
A new ‘Snap Lens’ has been created by London-based augmented reality experts Arcade that allows visitors to the city’s Natural History Museum to discover a giant, festive diplodocus that appears to have taken up residence on the museum’s roof. The new diplodocus is a scaled-up version of the plaster cast fossilised dinosaur that used to take centre stage in the museum’s famous Hintze Hall and was, from 1979 to 2017, the iconic emblem of the museum.
Snapchat-gebruikers hebben toegang tot de speciaal ontwikkelde Lens wanneer ze zich dicht bij het Natural History Museum bevinden - met name in het zicht van de beroemde ingang aan Cromwell Road in South Kensington. Door de Lens te selecteren en hun telefoon op het gebouw te richten, kunnen ze de diplodocus zien en horen en genieten van het prehistorische winterse tafereel.
Snapchat Lenses are best known for augmenting users’ faces, but in April 2019 the company announced a new type of Lens known as ‘Landmarkers’ – capable of applying augmented reality content to buildings, not faces. Landmarkers are available to Snapchat’s community of creators for free, via its Lens Studio software. Only a small group of buildings globally are available as Landmarkers, and the Natural History Museum was added in August. This was of particular interest to Arcade, who specialise in using augmented reality to create more meaningful connections between people and the physical world around them.
“We couldn’t resist having a bit of fun with the Natural History Museum Landmarker, and what better than bringing back Dippy, or perhaps Dippy’s big brother, as a festive treat?” said Alex Book, Arcade co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer.“We know it’s not a historically accurate model, but hopefully the museum and their wonderful array of palaeontology experts will forgive us. It is Christmas after all!”
The Lens is available for free to all members of the public via the Snapchat app. It was created by Arcade and is not endorsed by or related to the Natural History Museum in any way.
Remon Miah was introduced to the Camden Alive project after being interviewed by the street artist Mohammed Ali for his work ‘A Few Pounds In My Pocket’, the mural that became the first live AR experience in the Camden People’s Museum. Mohammed asked Remon to be his intern for the duration of the project, and was impressed by the young man’s enthusiasm and drive. When it was suggested that Remon join Arcade for a placement, we jumped at the chance!
As he is coming to end of his time with us, we asked Remon to tell us a bit about himself, his experience at Arcade and his plans for the future.
“I am currently studying Business Level 3 and I am interested in furthering my career within the finance sector. I’ve always had a keen interest within the technology world but never took any actions to learn more about it, so when the opportunity came to join Arcade for work experience I took it as my gateway to the technology world.
I first heard about Arcade during my internship with Bloomsbury festival as they developed an app for the festival. I was amazed about how everything worked in the Camden People’s Museum app and how the AR came to life. Since then I looked at some of the other work that Arcade has done and everything I saw was unbelievable, working with companies such as The Roald Dahl Museum and Sea Life.
On my first day Alex asked me what I wanted to do, which allowed me to do what I felt was beneficial and explore what would help me gain and develop useful skills. When he introduced me to coding I was really excited to learn more about it. During my time here I learnt the basics of coding with particular help from Arcade developer James Harvey; I never thought of myself being able to do even simple coding especially since I have no background in computer science but it goes to show that anything is possible when you have great people surrounding you.
Sitting beside Alex taught me a lot about what he does and what everyone else does within the company and it’s astonishing to see how everyone’s role brings everything together. He taught me how to apply my knowledge of the business world to the world of AR and technology. As well as coding, I was also asked to help the team prepare for a number of client meetings, by doing some research into the retail and skincare industries.
Throughout my time here I have learnt to be more confident in where I can apply my skills and knowledge, leant more about the augmented reality world and how AR is developed and also I have enjoyed my time to the fullest. It will be an experience I will never forget.
My plans for the future are to study finance and and learn more about AR as well as VR, this work experience has helped me focus my goals and helped me decide about what I want to do in the future.
Thank you to the whole of the Arcade team and best of luck with everything.”
Arcade is offering two further work experience placements via Camden Alive. If you are a Camden resident, aged 18 or over, with an interest in digital technologies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
For references for Remon please send an email to email@example.com.
On 19th November 2019, Camden Town, London officially became home to the global Music Walk of Fame. Designed as a new cultural attraction for London, The Music Walk of Fame will become a huge accolade for the music industry. Tuesday saw the augmented reality embedded Founding Stone and the first artist stone unveiled with a special ceremony attended by music legends.
After growing speculation in the weeks leading up to the launch, it was revealed that the recipient of the first ever Music Walk of Fame artist stone were none other than global music icons The Who. Flanked by a moped parade reflecting their famous mod-era heritage, surviving members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend accepted the accolade from Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, with the Arcade team present to celebrate the launch and demo the experience to assembled journalists and music royalty.
Arcade were selected as partners to design, create and provide the AR experiences that can be triggered by each stone. At launch, that involves a series of metallic rings that rise from the spinning ‘records’ that each stone is designed to evoke. The rings spin and whirl through the air, reflecting the light and surroundings before resolving as an interactive player through which visitors can enjoy a variety of exclusive film clips and music.
Over time, the AR experiences are expected to develop and push boundaries even further. Visitors to the Walk can expect unseen, rare and exclusive footage, 3D art, augmented reality performances and more. Stay tuned!
Arcade is delighted to bring augmented reality to opera with A Vixen’s Tale, a mixed physical and digital experience designed to immerse opera-goers new and old in the story of Leoš Janáček’s iconic The Cunning Little Vixen. The work was commissioned by Welsh National Opera (WNO), and launched at WNO’s Explore Opera Day on October 5th at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.
A Vixen’s Tale is a free experience that invites visitors of all ages to step into the world of The Cunning Little Vixen, where they can use augmented reality to experience a hidden world of enchanting narratives. Through playful interactions, immersive illustrations and an arresting soundscape set across five physical arches, visitors will walk with the opera’s Vixen and experience her story for themselves.
A Vixen’s Tale will run until November 3rd, with plans for it to tour nationally and internationally throughout 2020.
Arcade is proud to announce our partnership with the famous HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, one of the largest art and culture-oriented institutions in Europe. We have ties to HKU through our recently formed Dutch office, and are delighted to formalise the relationship by taking on the role of industry partner for a team of Games & Interaction students.
We were invited to submit a real-world challenge for students working towards their Bachelor of Creative Techologies, who will spend around four months researching, designing and developing a solution, all supported by course tutors and regular check-ins with the Arcade team.
Lotte Vergouwen, Course Leader, said, “For us it is important that students work in various contexts outside of school and learn to collaborate with different partners. We are excited to team up with Arcade and make the most of this international project.”
Jon Meggitt, Arcade CEO, added, “Everyone at Arcade is really proud of our strong track record of collaboration with academia, from University of Oxford to the Employability Points Scheme at the University of Kent, and now stretching out across the North Sea to Utrecht. We’re incredibly excited to see what the team comes up with, but most importantly: good luck and have fun!”