Mixed Reality Lab

The Mixed Reality Laboratory (MRL) at the University of Nottingham is a research laboratory dedicated to the challenge of interleaving physical and digital interactions, with a particular focus on creative and cultural applications. The lab provides a deep capability to develop and apply a wide variety of interface and distributed technologies, spanning the spectrum of mixed reality, from virtual reality at one extreme to augmented reality, tangible, embedded and – of particular relevance here - wearable technologies. The latter include Artcodes, a flexible augmented reality technology that enables end-users – including children – to design their own trackable garments and props, flexibly attaching these to their own digital media. The lab also brings expertise in embedded computing that would enable the cameras that recognise such items to be embedded into other props and stage sets, including a recently developed and patented technology to create augmented-reality mirrors that could be adapted to support rehearsals and performances. Beyond this, the lab can contribute technical capability in embedded technology platforms such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Littlebits, Lilypads and others as well as 3D printing and making capabilities. At the heart of the MRLis a 12m x 24m fully-equipped flexible prototyping space which houses projects from team of 50 academics, research fellows, PhD students and visitors. This is typically where we prototype new experiences before they are then taken out "on the road" for real-world deployment. The MRL has a long-established tradition of working with artists and other creatives to make and deploy interactive cultural experiences including performances, games and installations. The innovation and quality of these have been recognized by the award of the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Interactive Art, the Nokia Mindtrek Award for Innovative Applications of Ubiquitous Computing and also multiple awards for best papers at scientific conferences such as ACM Computer-Human Interaction (CHI). Artistic collaborations are supported by an artist residency programme.

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