The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018
Murray Pittock

By Professor Murray Pittock, Pro Vice-Principal (Special Projects), University of Glasgow

The Scottish Heritage Partnership (SHP) has been funded through a joint call grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to find the next generation of immersive experiences.

Immersive technology, like virtual or augmented reality, is big news and is changing how the public interacts with content in their daily lives. Today, you can fly a jet plane without leaving your living room or go to a visitor attraction which will allow you to go back in time to experience a battle or ‘smell’ the streets of a medieval city. With affordable headsets increasingly available, and with significant market penetration in the US already a reality, the rapidly growing audiences for museums, galleries and historic and cultural visitor attractions are likely to change their expectations - and therefore their spending - rapidly. There are strong business applications in process which depend heavily on sourcing the right content in the right way.

The project is developing:

  • an evidence-based market model for use with Scottish Government, VisitScotland, local tourist authorities and non-governmental agencies
  • a visualisation exploring the decision-making process and value chain of immersive implementation in heritage organisations, due to be launched in York in December
  • a risk assessment of the blockers to successful development and exploitation of the findings in the creative and cultural industries.

The SHP aims to use its findings to support commercial developments, the economic targets for tourist numbers in the Glasgow 2023 tourism strategy and the planning in of the Scottish Government in this area. SHP has already carried out extensive audience research and aims to apply for follow-on funding for 2019-20 engaging Interface and other partners in refining its results with new audiences.

I am the Principal Investigator and Professor Lorna Hughes (former chair of the European Science Foundation’s Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities) and Dr Maria Economou (Vice-President of UNIVERSEUM, the European Academic Heritage Network) are co-investigators, together with Steve Colmer of Soluis Heritage. The partners are the National Trust for Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and Glasgow Museums, and the project is also supported by Dr Neil McDonnell, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellow in Virtual and Augmented Reality at the University of Glasgow, and two researchers, Dr Leo Konstantelos and Dr Agiatis Benardou.

If you would like further information on how Interface can help you, or to speak with our regional Business Engagement team please contact us.  

02 October 2018

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