Technology takes the art of storytelling to an immersive new level

Immersive entertainment is synonymous with some of the biggest businesses in the world, but it’s also a world that naturally suits Irish entrepreneurs and businesses. Storytelling is at the heart of today’s AR, VR and immersive experiences; Ireland’s long and proud tradition of storytelling, along with our reputation for excellence in technological innovation, has enabled several Irish companies to make waves in this growing industry.

n fact, this is a sector that has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic. Cinema restrictions have pushed more people to seek immersive entertainment experiences at home, and in 2020, consumers around the world spent $9.9 billion on AR and VR. During the same period, only $7 billion was spent on movie theater attendance.

The long-term forecasts are even more impressive. A report on Statistica predicts that the global immersive market will reach nearly $300 billion by 2024. If that number is correct, it means immersive media will be as important to us as mobile apps are today. As this is such a rapidly growing and developing industry, companies entering the sector today will play a valuable role in shaping the world of immersive entertainment over the coming decades.

Investors are recognizing this growth and reacting accordingly, which means plenty of opportunities for Irish companies looking to enter the sector.t

A new guide, Opportunities in Immersive Media Entertainment, has been developed by UK consultancy Limina Immersive in partnership with Enterprise Ireland to help Irish entertainment companies recognize, prepare for and take advantage of these opportunities at scale. world. Led by globally recognized expert Catherine Allen, Limina is also currently working with several Irish SMEs that are diversifying into the sector.

The guide examines the current market and growth areas over the next few years, as well as digital immersive technology trends, investment opportunities, and tips to get your immersive entertainment project off the ground.

Many Irish companies are already successful in the region. For example, Engage XR (formerly Immersive VR Education) launched a VR documentary in April 2016, Apollo 11, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. Always recognized as an innovative technological breakthrough, the application is based on original NASA hardware from the first lunar expedition in 1969, and allows the user to fly the command module, operate the lunar lander and perform experiments on the Moon. The company has since grown its ENGAGE platform, which enables VR education, collaboration and events, and is now used by more than 130 commercial customers, including Fortune 500 Meta and 3M companies.

Another area of ​​growth is volumetric filmmaking and how to make it easy and affordable for professional headsets and mobile experiences. Irish Volograms has developed state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms that power 3D reconstruction, multi-view texture mapping and many other important features. Their mobile app allows anyone to capture a volumetric video of their dancing friend, resize it, and place it in a different context.

With storytelling – and “storytelling” – being a fundamental aspect of immersive entertainment, it’s no surprise that Ireland’s much-loved animation industry is making waves in the industry. The most famous of all is Aurora, developed by Pink Kong Studio in 2018. An emotionally immersive story based on a family of three living in a forest, Aurora received several accolades around the world, including the 2018 Monolith Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immersive Virtual Reality from the Infinity Film Festival Beverly Hills.

Irish businesses are even using the technology outdoors. Developed by Algorithm, Living Canvas is one of the world’s first outdoor digital displays used exclusively for artistic and cultural content. Located in Wilton Park, Dublin, the 21 x 4 meter LED screen functions as an exciting outdoor gallery – allowing every Irishman to experience this exciting new technology for themselves.

Bartek Siepracki is Senior ICT Market Advisor, Poland and Baltics, Global Head of Digital Entertainment at Enterprise Ireland. Catherine Allen, co-founder and CEO of Limina Immersive, contributed to the article.

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