Digital Catapult and BPI to host immersive Surroundscapes event

Digital Catapult, in collaboration with record labels body the BPI and its BPI Innovation Hub,  will host an immersive content ‘Surroundscapes’ showcase event on July 17.

The event will combine audio with virtual and augmented reality technology to demonstrate the power of richer sound in immersive content and standalone augmented audio experiences.

Surroundscapes will present six companies, selected from over 30 applicants, developing tools and solutions at the leading edge of amplifying the power of sound in VR, AR and MR experiences, bringing together global industry leaders, hardware providers, sound-led content creators, investors, and commissioners and producers.

Digital Catapult has convened a panel of expert international speakers from across industry to explore the impact of the growing focus on immersive sound and how it can amplify and transform immersive experiences, and draw on real-life examples of pioneering work in music and broadcast.

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult, said: “Sound has a magical effect on our emotions and the way we interact with all kinds of experiences, so there’s no reason for audio to be a mere afterthought when it comes to developing ground-breaking immersive content. We’re already seeing the tangible and powerful results of sound-led VR experiences.”

As immersive audio production becomes more prevalent within the VR/AR industry, Digital Catapult’s market research has shown there are at least twenty UK companies developing the infrastructure and tools for sound-based solutions, with even more creating sound-led immersive experiences. The global 3D audio market is projected to grow by 16.5 per cent between 2018 and 2026, according to Coherent Market Insights, driven in particular by a growth in audio hardware adoption and consumer demand.

Two companies from Digital Catapult’s immersive content accelerator CreativeXR are part of a wave of companies helping to grow the immersive audio market: Darkfield and Abandon Normal Devices are both producing immersive sound-led experiences as part of the 2019 cohort. And in the first CreativeXR cohort, Roomsize developed Open Space, a platform which enables the rapid construction of interactive audio experiences that occupy physical spaces.