Second Keeper Adventure Launches at NPL

The Keeper of Measurements: Metric Mayhem has launched today at the National Physical Laboratory as part of their World Metrology Day celebrations.

Visitors to the NPL’s open day will be able to explore the astonishing science that is carried out across its labs in Teddington, and embark on an adventure to help the Keeper of Measurements rescue the SI Bots that have been captured by the dastardly Croakers.

THE KEEPER STORYWORLD

The World of the Keepers is a liminal space that exists alongside our own. Overlaid, intertwined but rarely seen by human eyes. Home to the mysterious guardians of our world’s most important cultural collections and sources of knowledge.

The National Physical Laboratory’s Keeper of Measurements is one such guardian. With absolute mastery of the SI, the seven major units that measure mass, length, time, current, temperature, substance and luminosity, the Keeper of Measurements is unrivalled in this realm.

But the Keepers are not alone in their power. The shadowy legion of Croakers are intent on creating chaos and discord, disrupting the equilibrium that the Keepers work so hard to preserve.

The Keeper of Measurements is beyond even the Croakers’ abilities, but the SI-Bots, each created to serve the Keeper of Measurements, are not so strong. The Croakers saw their chance and took it, abducting the seven Si-Bots and imprisoning them around the National Physical Laboratory!

Weakened by the loss of the SI-Bots, the Keeper of Measurements needs your help to restore their power by finding the Bots and thwarting the dastardly Croakers.

Join the Keeper of Measurements on a magical quest at the National Physical Laboratory. Have you got what it takes to rescue the SI-Bots from the shadowy Croakers and save World Metrology Day?

The Keeper of Measurements is the second Keepers adventure, following The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception which launched at The National Gallery earlier this year.

More Keepers stories are planned with other cultural institutions. If you’re interested in creating your own Keeper experience, please get in touch.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE KEEPER OF MEASUREMENTS OR TO TALK TO THE TEAM, GET IN TOUCH

Old Operating Theatre Goes Immersive

AR hologram of doctor

The Old Operating Theatre, as Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre, has some astonishing stories to tell. Standing in the space, you can almost hear the echoes of 19th century surgeons carrying out amputations with no anaesthetic as dozens of smoking students shouted their approval or concern.

The museum is open to the public near London Bridge and offers a chance to step back through history – but now gives visitors an opportunity to hear these stories from one of the surgeons themselves, thanks to the magic of augmented reality.

Visitors to the Old Op can use an app to meet Mr Benjamin Travers, a renowned British surgeon who was appointed as lead demonstrator at Old St Thomas’ Hospital and was in charge when the women’s operating theatre was created.

Mr Travers appears as an AR hologram and welcomes visitors to the operating theatre, assuming them to be medical students late for his latest class. Across three short interactions he explains the surgery of Mrs Elizabeth Raigen, a patient whose injuries required her leg to be amputated below the knee, a procedure described at the time in The Lancet, one of the oldest medical journals in the world. Hear all about this fascinating – if slightly gruesome – surgery, from the surgeon himself!

Mr Travers augmented reality experience is live at The Old Operating Theatre now, and is free with admission. Book your museum ticket here.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT AUGMENTED REALITY FOR ARTS & CULTURE OR TO TALK TO THE TEAM, GET IN TOUCH

MunchMunch added to Digital Catapult Success Stories

MunchMunch, the fun, innovative creativity tool that celebrates the artistic philosophies of Edvard Munch, was developed by Arcade in partnership with MUNCH and Digital Catapult. Ahead of its launch later this year, Digital Catapult – the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre – has added a comprehensive case study to its ‘Success Stories’ pages.

Read the case study here, or to find out more and see what immersive technologies can do for you, please get in touch.

MunchMunch shortlisted for Art Explora Award

MunchMunch, the innovative creativity platform for school children, has been shortlisted as one of 30 potential winners of the hugely prestigious Art Explora Award.

Created in partnership with Oslo’s Munch Museum and Digital Catapult, MunchMunch is a creative and entertaining mobile application for Norwegian school children, aged between 9-11. It will inspire students to engage with Munch’s unique way of thinking and creating, by combining analogue and digital elements. The experience will consist of a digital tutorial, followed by an analogue drawing exercise. By transferring the drawing into an AR view, the user is able to place the drawing in their own surroundings and to continue working on its expressions with effects only made possible by digital means.

The award ceremony and announcement of the winning projects will take place on December 3rd. Learn more about Art Explora and tune in for the awards here: https://artexplora.org/en/the-2020-edition-of-the-art-explora-academie-des-beaux-arts-european-award/

IWM DUXFORD’S OBSERVER CORPS VR EXPERIENCE LAUNCHES!

IWM Duxford's Observer Corps VR Experience has launched to commemorate the Battle of Britain's 80th anniversary

Would you have had what it took to protect the few?

This is the question being asked of people around the country – and the world – ahead of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. ‘The few’, so famously referenced by Sir Winston Churchill in his iconic speech, are of course the brave pilots of the RAF who risked so much to protect the country from invasion.

But they could not have succeeded without knowing what they were up against. Early warnings of incoming Luftwaffe raids – how many aircraft, what type, where and headed in which direction – provided the critical information that made RAF Fighter Command’s speedy response possible. This vital job fell not to seasoned military veterans, but to the civilian volunteers of the Observer Corps.

Now the Observer Corps Experience, created by Arcade for IWM Duxford, allows the public to get a glimpse of what it might have been like to bear this heavy responsibility.

Using a mobile VR web app, we invite users to step back in time to September 15th, 1940. This momentous day is now seen as the climax of the Battle of Britain, with the increasingly desperate Luftwaffe launching its heaviest attacks against the British mainland throughout the day, and it was up to the Observer Corps to spot incoming raids and relay the information to RAF Fighter Command as quickly and accurately as possible.

Watch the incredible archive and re-enacted footage, then grab your binoculars and do your job to protect the ‘Few’. Follow the link or QR code below to step into the shoes of the brave men and women of the Observer Corps.

On mobile? Cick here to launch the experience. On desktop? Point your phone camera at the QR code below.

If you enjoy the experience, or want to find out more, then why not head to IWM Duxford? It is fully re-opened, with extensive measures in place to keep visitors safe. Book your tickets here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford

Arcade awarded Immersive Storytelling Fellowship by StoryFutures and UK Parliament

We are thrilled to announce that Arcade is one of five industry-leading SMEs to be awarded an Immersive Storytelling Fellowship by StoryFutures, the Creative Cluster that creates and helps fund R&D projects with creative businesses in the Gateway Cluster and Greater London.

Jon Meggitt, Arcade CEO, takes on the role of Fellow on a hugely exciting project that sees Arcade partner with Royal Holloway academics and UK Parliament to immerse audiences in the rich historical and contemporary narratives that make Parliament so important to today’s society.

The overarching goal is to make Parliament feel relevant to audiences of all kinds, creating meaningful connections with its history and ongoing activity. To do so, we will create a ‘Spatial Story Platform’, a new way of using immersive technology to serve contextual, multi-vocal stories that are tailored to the user, whoever they are and whatever their interests.

Jon Meggitt
Jon Meggitt, Arcade CEO & Immersive Storytelling Fellow

Using the majestic Westminster Hall as our physical canvas, we will create a visitor experience that offers a personalised interactive tour through hundreds of the historical and contemporary stories that have defined the UK Parliament. Many will include multiple perspectives on the same narrative and invite the user to make up their own mind about which side of the debate they would have supported.

Artist's impression of the Westminster Hall experience

In addition to physical visitors to Parliament, it is important for the experience to foster this stronger sense of connection amongst those who are unable to reach Parliament for physical, economic or social reasons so we will also create a remote experience, built around a digital twin of Westminster Hall. Users can virtually place the hall in the physical space around them, before ‘stepping inside’ and enjoying a similar experience to physical visitors, but from anywhere in the country or, indeed, the world.

“It is a huge honour to accept this Fellowship,” said Jon, “and we are thrilled to be working with such prestigious institutions as StoryFutures, Royal Holloway and, in particular, UK Parliament. The challenge from an R&D perspective is pretty huge, but that’s what make this so exciting. It’s an opportunity to try and do something completely new, with permission to fail. But of course we’ll be doing everything we can to succeed!”

Read the full StoryFutures press release here.

How to succeed in a virtual world

During lockdown, organisations of all kinds have been scrambling to virtualise the way they interact with their audiences. From #MuseumsAtHome to VR conferences, online music festivals to virtual product launches, virtual experiences have, by necessity, taken over.

Lockdown conditions may now be easing, but there is little doubt that the world we emerge back into will be far more virtual than it was before. Here’s a brief look at the impact of Coronavirus on the evolution of immersive experiences, and how they can help you succeed in an increasingly virtual world.

For a quick primer on immersive technologies including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) check out our 'What is AR / VR' page

The Lasting Impact of COVID-19

Some of the brightest minds today have described Coronavirus as more of an ‘accelerant’ than a catalyst for true change. For most of the industries we work with this is absolutely the case: its lasting impact will not be to change the course of history but to accelerate the arrival of an ever-more virtual and immersive future.

Arts, culture and heritage, vistor attractions, retail, events, FMCG brands, education, corporate comms, sports and more have all been affected by digital disruption and the new opportunities it has brought for audience engagement, but the past few months have forced them to dramatically accelerate. As a result, the professional and social attitudes to immersive experiences that have been evolving for years have now been supercharged.

Related: read more about virtual galleries here

Interest in shared virtual spaces such as Mozilla Hubs has surged during lockdown

The return to ‘normal’ will of course include going to the shops, visiting museums and enjoying theme parks, but this new normal will also include far more digitally immersive activity that is better integrated into engagement strategies and more readily embraced by post-COVID audiences than ever before.

So the lasting impact of Coronavirus is to force organisations to confront a challenge that has been slowly building for years, by asking the key question: How do I succeed in an increasingly virtual world?

REAL SUCCESS IN A VIRTUAL WORLD

Below are a few important considerations to help you meet this challenge head-on.

Focus on the strategy, not the medium

In many ways, experiences delivered via immersive technologies such as AR and VR are no different to any other types of audience engagement. 

They are fundamentally about telling your stories, expressing your personality, achieving your objectives. As such, they should have the unmistakable stamp of your brand just like any other physical or digital experience would, irrespective of the medium through which they are delivered.

SEA LIFE's Roxy the Ranger amplified their 'Amazing Discovery' brand essence

It's about the experience, not the technology

Similarly, if you want audiences to care about what you’re doing, and perhaps even pay for it, the most important factor of all is the same as it has always been: the quality of the experience. Immersive technology may be new and different, but for an experience to succeed it must be about more than novelty, or audiences will lose interest pretty fast.

The Coronavirus has triggered something of a digital land grab, with organisations suddenly desperate to do ‘something digital’. As a short-term fix this is fine, but today’s audiences are discerning and spoilt for choice; if it’s not worth people’s time, if it fails to be as fun, interesting, challenging, rewarding or generally as ‘good’ as it should be, then audiences won’t engage with it, much less pay for it.

Camden's Music Walk of Fame reveals the artists and music behind the stones

Start with what you've got

Creating new high quality, three-dimensional immersive content remains the easiest way to burn through budgets, so begin by looking at what you have.

Most organisations today are swimming in more digital assets than they can keep track of, and many can be repurposed for immersive experiences, making the process even faster and more affordable.

Even 2D images can be repurposed for exploration in a virtual gallery

It's cheaper than you think

Like any new technology, it has taken time for immersive tech hardware, software and content creation techniques to mature and costs to reduce. The good news is that the ‘early years’ for immersive are well and truly over. 

The industry has grown and the tools we have at our disposal make it easier, quicker and cheaper than ever before to create rewarding experiences for your audiences.

Dippy came back to the Natural History Museum via an inexpensive Snap Lens

Add, don't subtract

Immersive experiences are here to stay, but it would be a mistake to think that they will, or should, replace what has come before. Outside of once-in-a-generation crises such as Covid, traditional audience engagement methods will always have their place.

The very best virtual galleries or museums cannot replicate the experience of standing in front of a physical artefact in an ancient cultural institution, and nor should they try to.

Instead they should complement and enhance, by offering new types of experience that stand alongside those which already exist.

A Vixen's Tale was designed to bring new audiences to Welsh National Opera productions

Business models change

Digital disruption has already forced business models across many sectors to adapt. The disruptive impact of immersive technology has been dramatically magnified by Coronavirus, so more and more commercial models will change over the coming months and years.

People will still pay to park at a gallery, walk through the gates of a visitor attraction, buy food and drink at a heritage site, or be in the same room as interesting contacts at an event, but as the experience economy moves on and becomes more virtual, we all – providers and consumers both – will have to adjust to new commercial relationships. 

By following the approaches above you will be well placed to create experiences that offer real value to your audiences, to the point that they become an important part of your commercial plans. Don’t be the last to embrace the change.

Marvellous Missenden offers a way for audiences to engage with the Roald Dahl Museum outside of its walls

GET STARTED TODAY

To discuss how the increasingly virtual world is going to impact on you and your sector, and explore the role that immersive technologies can play in helping you adapt, get in touch.

To find out more about success in an increasingly virtual world

Welcome to The Arcade! Virtual gallery launches on Google and Mozilla

THE ARCADE IS OPEN

After several years working with some of the UK and Europe’s best culture and heritage organisations, we thought it was about time we became one ourselves! We are incredibly proud to open the doors to The Arcade, our very own gallery.

The Arcade is a three-dimensional space where visitors can explore arts, culture and heritage exhibitions from anywhere in the world. Created in response to the Coronavirus lockdown but with an important role still to play once we are in a post-Covid world, The Arcade is open to all; whether you’re using a computer, mobile, tablet or even VR headset, you can step inside and enjoy the view.

A SHARED EXPERIENCE

As well as being universally accessible, The Arcade also exists across a variety of platforms. Google Poly offers a series of 360° views of the gallery space, with the ability to enlarge and learn more about the artworks around you. Poly is also linked to the Google Expeditions app, designed to bring it into the classroom and make it viewable in VR.

Google Poly: 360° Views

But perhaps the platform in which The Arcade most comes to life is Mozilla Hubs, a web-based social environment that allows visitors to enter the space together, move around it just like you would in a physical gallery and chat with each other as you go. This kind of shared experience is at the heart of so many visits to culture and heritage spaces, and it can be meaningfully replicated in The Arcade. We believe that although this is especially timely as lockdown conditions endure, the benefits of these social cultural environments will last far longer than Covid-19.

Mozilla Hubs: Free roam in a shared social space

NOW SHOWING @ THE ARCADE

The first three exhibitions in The Arcade, presented in association with The Heritage Alliance, are Landmark Trust’s Coastal Landmarks, National Historic Ships photography competition highlights from the past ten years, and the ‘reawakening’ of Alexandra Palace’s stunning theatre. The National Historic Ships exhibition is also accessible via Mozilla Hubs here – share the link with a friend and take a wander around together!

Alexandra Palace - Google Poly
National Historic Ships - Mozilla Hubs
The Landmark Trust - Google Poly

The Arcade is open and everyone is welcome.

To learn more, talk to us about putting on your virtual exhibition, or see what virtual galleries could do for you, please get in touch.

To learn more, please get in touch

Arcade to commemorate Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary for IWM Duxford

Arcade has been chosen to create an Augmented Reality experience for Imperial War Museums’ (IWM) Battle of Britain 80th anniversary campaign at IWM Duxford.

Working alongside IWM experts and the creative agency Neil A Dawson and Company, we have been tasked with designing and developing an experience that amplifies the message of a print and online campaign that will run in tandem, designed to attract visitors to IWM Duxford to celebrate this milestone anniversary.

Pete Austin, IWM Assistant Director Communications and Marketing, commented “In line with IWM’s new strategy which puts innovation at the centre of all of our marketing campaigns, we wanted to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in a way that would engage audiences in the story of the summer of 1940 with new digital technologies. Using augmented and virtual reality in a marketing campaign was a new innovation for IWM so we were looking for an agency who could walk us through the technicalities while demonstrating a genuine passion for the subject matter. Arcade came up with some brilliant ideas from the outset and we are thrilled to be working with them on this exciting campaign.”

“We were thrilled to discover our pitch for IWM Duxford had been successful,” said Arcade co-founder Alex Book. “We do a lot of work in the heritage space, but few stories have the lasting power and resonance as the Battle of Britain. This is a chance to invite audiences to step into the shoes of the people involved 80 years ago and give a sense of what it might have been like, and we couldn’t be more excited!”

IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain anniversary will begin on 10 July 2020, 80 years since the battle began. The AR will launch to coincide with the opening of IWM Duxford’s new Battle of Britain exhibitions later this summer.

Music Walk of Fame Inducts Amy Winehouse, Madness and Soul II Soul

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.

To access all of these AR experiences, and those for The Who and the Music Walk of Fame’s Founding Stone, just download the free app and head to the stones.