Arcade named amongst GB’s leading creative industries entrepreneurs

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.

Arcade co-founders (from L-R): Alex Book, Jon Meggitt, Simon Hobbs

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.”

Arcade x Magic Leap

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 becomes Founder Member of Immerse UK

Man Enjoying an Immersive Experience

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.

Arcade partners with HKU University of the Arts Utrecht

HKU Logo

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.

Six of the seven HKU team members, L-R: Frans, Carl, Celine, Bukra, Marijke, Sten (Hicham not in shot)

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!”

Arcade partners with Welsh National Opera

The Cunning Little Vixen Opera Poster

Following a competitive pitch and period of embargo while work has been feverishly flying ahead, we are delighted to announce Arcade’s first partnership with Welsh National Opera.

A Vixen’s Tale is inspired by one of the pieces WNO is staging this autumn, Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen. It will take the form of a human-scale sensory ‘tunnel book’, inviting visitors to step physically into the opera’s themes and settings 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 titular Vixen and experience her story for themselves.

A Vixen’s Tale is the latest innovative digital project for WNO, following the success of recent work including Freedom 360Rhondda RebelWNO Field and Magic Butterfly, cementing their status as digital pioneers.

“We are thrilled to be working with WNO, who continue to set the benchmark for innovation in arts and culture,” said Jon Meggitt, Arcade CEO, A Vixen’s Tale is one of our most ambitious projects to date, and we can’t wait to see the effect it has on opera-goers old and new.”

David Massey, WNO Digital Producer said, “We’re hugely excited to be collaborating with Arcade on this exceptional project. Digital innovation is very much at the heart of many of our engagement projects. We hope A Vixen’s Tale will immerse and delight audiences of all ages, giving us the opportunity to explore new and exciting ways to tell stories infusing music, theatre and performance.”

The free experience is open to all and will run for four weeks at Wales Millennium Centre, opening on Saturday 5 October when WNO will also hold an Explore Opera Day. It will also be preceded by an augmented marketing campaign for those in the Cardiff area – details coming soon!

Hello, James!

James Harvey

We are delighted to welcome James Harvey to Arcade following his Computer Science Masters degree at the University of Sheffield.

Welcome to Arcade, James! So, what have you done that you’re most proud of so far?

Thanks! Well it may be slightly cliched, but I am most proud of the work I did on my dissertation. Essentially this was working on an approach to use immersive technology to aid in the reconstruction of broken archaeological fragments. Not necessarily because of the subject matter itself, rather because it’s something that got me truly involved in immersive technologies from a personal and professional standpoint, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to do it.

Lovely. What are you most looking forward to with Arcade?

It’s going to be great to work with an ambitious, talented group to deliver experiences through AR that change the way people not only interact with each other, but the spaces they visit. Pushing the boundaries of what people think a typical AR experience can be. I think immersive technology has so much untapped potential as a tool to enhance how we can tell stories to one another in both a personal and shared capacity, from completely new unseen worlds to familiar environments enhanced through the use of AR.

Couldn’t have put it better ourselves! So, what do you get up to in your spare time?

While I try not to spend too long in front of a screen, I’m a gamer at heart and it’s probably what you’ll find me doing most evenings. Getting away from my computer though, I really enjoy long hikes and camping, and try to get to the hills whenever possible.

Music of choice?

Throughout the day, anything from LoFi to 90’s HipHop gets me most productive. I’ve moved away from my Indie/Rock phase but occasionally these playlists will be given a listen.

Approved. Feel free to take control of the office juke box. Anything else you think we should know or are prepared to admit to?!

Due to being too worried to drive on a real track, I took up sim racing to enjoy all the thrills racing provides but from the safety of my room. Though I’ve probably spent enough money on it that I could’ve just bought myself a real car.

Safety first, James. Thanks for talking to us – now let’s get to work!

If you have any questions for James you can give him a shout at james@arcade.ltd.

Arcade opens new Dutch office

Hallo

The Future’s Orange

We are delighted to announce a huge milestone for Arcade today as we open our first international office in Utrecht, Netherlands. Arcade’s presence in the Netherlands is an exciting opportunity to expand our purpose of ‘connecting people to place’ throughout mainland Europe. 

The office will be led by Sten Duindam as MD. Sten has been with Arcade since its early days, combining his work with studying for a Creative Technologies Masters degree at HKU (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht). 

“Sten has played an integral role in Arcade’s success to date and has proven himself more than capable of taking on the challenge of building the Arcade offer in his native Netherlands,” said Jon Meggitt, Arcade CEO. “Please join us in congratulating him on his new role and wishing him the best of luck as he leads Arcade Netherlands into the future. Or should we say, ‘veel succes’!”

Arcade uses digital technology – and location-based augmented reality in particular – to help a variety of organisations connect their audiences more meaningfully to the physical spaces around them. “Our work to date has focused on visitor attractions, museums, heritage sites and other place-oriented institutions that are primarily UK-based, which makes this international expansion an important and exciting moment for Arcade,” said CSO Alex Book. “We can’t wait to get started.”

To contact the Dutch office, please email sten@arcade.ltd or call +31 (0) 6 57 99 92 27.

Sten Duindam in the Arcade London Office

Arcade selected as a Creative Industries Council ‘One To Watch’

Creative Industries Flag
Arcade named as one of Createch's 'Ones to Watch'

We are delighted to have been selected as one of 50 UK companies at the forefront of creativity and technology. According to the CIC, “The report reflects the UK’s strong international reputation in both technology and creative fields, with the government estimating that global companies plan to invest at least £1.2bn in UK technology.”

“Compiled by innovation specialists Springwise with support from London & Partners, Digital Catapult and the GREAT campaign, ‘Ones to Watch’ features examples of how creative and tech expertise can combine to transform products, services, and experiences.”

CIC Co-Chair and BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie said, “The publication of the ‘Ones to Watch’ report provides outstanding examples of companies of all sizes from across the country who are breaking new ground in this area and changing our lives.”

Arcade’s work with SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds and Roald Dahl was used to demonstrate our focus on creating transformational experiences that connect people more meaningfully to place.

Alex Book Presenting at Createch

CSO Alex Book presented a showcase of Arcade’s work at Createch 2019 to an audience of over 400 UK and overseas digital industry professionals from the private and public sectors, and was joined on the bill by many notable speakers including Margot James, Minister of State for Digital and Creative Industries, Facebook’s Christina Weaver Jackson, Bill Bush from the Premier League and Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult.

Camden Alive partners with Arcade

Camden Alive Promo

We are incredibly proud to announce that the London Borough of Camden has partnered with Arcade on their hugely exciting Camden Alive project.

Camden Alive is an arts and culture platform that celebrates the history and diversity of this famous London borough, bringing to life the stories of its residents with the help of a variety of artists and performers. Arcade has been tasked with creating the Camden People’s Museum, a digital space which will be home to a series of immersive installations that can be experienced in augmented reality at specific locations across the borough or remotely, by residents and visitors alike.

The Camden People’s Museum will challenge preconceptions of what a museum is – it will have no walls, no entry fees, and it will exist entirely in the world around residents and visitors.

Jon Meggitt, CEO and Co-Founder of Arcade, said: “We could not be more thrilled to partner with Camden Council on this pioneering arts and culture project. Arcade is all about building connections between people and places using augmented reality, so the opportunity to immerse residents and visitors alike in the rich stories and unique environments of this iconic borough is a vision that’s very close to our hearts.

“Working alongside the Camden Alive team, the commissioned artists and local residents, we are delighted to be playing our part in creating something truly remarkable that can be enjoyed by all for many years to come.”

We love a good archive… getting stuck in with artists Boris, Brown and Steffi at the Camden Archives

The full press release can be read here: http://news.camden.gov.uk/camden-alive-partners-up-with-artists-to-bring-resident-stories-to-life/