A new immersive lab has opened in Brighton which will enable theatre companies to experiment with virtual reality technology.

This is the second immersive lab to be opened by Digital Catapult, which supports innovation in technology, following the launch of a London facility earlier this year.

The immersive labs are part of Digital Catapult’s strategy to develop the use of virtual, augmented and mixed-reality technologies within businesses, including arts and media companies, in the UK.

Digital Catapult plans to open a network of labs around the country, to give companies nationwide access to the technologies.

The lab will be available to businesses of any size, alongside researchers and investors, to demonstrate, innovate, test and experience the latest immersive technology and content.

Phil Jones, head of Digital Catapult in Brighton, said: “Brighton is uniquely positioned to take advantage of immersive technologies because it is home to many disruptive companies operating in the creative and digital sectors.

“Digital Catapult is committed to opening a number of immersive labs across the country, where anyone in the community can gain access to state-of-the-art equipment.”

Aurelian Simon, head of immersive at Digital Catapult, added: “The immersive industry is growing tremendously and is already valued at $5.4 billion globally for 2016.

“The UK has a rich heritage in sectors where immersive technologies are likely to have the largest and most immediate impact: the creative industries, manufacturing and health. So, establishing immersive labs in key regions across the country like this one in Brighton will further benefit the development of the industry.”

This follows a new fund launched by Arts Council England and Digital Catapult to encourage cultural organisations to experiment with immersive technology.

Source: The Stage