University of Portsmouth invests in Centre of Creative and Immersive XR

[Left to right:] Professor Trevor Keeble, University of Portsmouth Dean; Alex Counsell, University of Portsmouth technical adviser; Pippa Bostock, University of Portsmouth business and development project manager; Richard Wilson, White Light director; Andy Hook, White Light technical solutions director

The University of Portsmouth will launch its brand new Centre for Creative and Immersive eXtended Reality (CCIXR) in 2021, having secured £3.6 million in funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (SLEP).

The CCIXR will be the UK’s first fully integrated facility to support innovation in virtual, augmented and extended realities.

To deliver this project the University partnered with technical solutions specialist, White Light (WL). The centre will utilise WL’s SmartStage technology for innovation, research, and delivery of the Faculty’s cutting edge curriculum.

CCIXR will offer 12 extended or cross reality (XR) areas to enable staff and students to engage with a diverse range of content in innovative ways. Content sources such as augmented reality (AR), photogrammetry, motion capture and volumetric video, streamed directly into the SmartStage, will make the centre a one-stop immersive environment for XR learning.

The comfortable, user friendly environment SmartStage creates enables academics, creatives and thought leaders to deliver engaging distance learning sessions and streamed events. This generates return on investment for universities, increasing potential for student intakes via flexible distance learning programmes and maximising the reach for students worldwide.

Richard Wilson, director at WL, commented: “As well as supplying our SmartStage technology for the new CCIXR, we are hugely excited by the partnership with the University of Portsmouth. This ongoing relationship will enable our experts to support the teaching of the next generation and collaborate on R&D with the UK’s leading institution in this sector.”

Pippa Bostock, business and development project manager at University of Portsmouth, added: “SmartStage epitomises everything that we are trying to do with the CCIXR, as the UK’s home of innovation in immersive XR technology. It is crucial for us to demonstrate to everyone coming into the centre, what creative technology can do for them, in a rapidly advancing digital world. With SmartStage as its technological centrepiece, the centre will be the very first establishment in the UK to bring this whole immersive pipeline together.”

Andy Hook, WL’s technical solutions director, concluded: “We have been deploying XR solutions globally for more than three years now, with SmartStage leading the way for success in corporate and broadcast markets, as well as education. The infrastructure for the CCIXR will help expose students to industry leading equipment, such as disguise XR servers, which will allow them to unleash their creativity through a mixture of immersive display technology. We are extremely proud to be pivotal to the UK’s very first centre of excellence and innovation in this field.”


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