AR Story Named Finalist for Prestigious UK Award

AR Story Named Finalist for Prestigious UK Award

The first digital project of its kind encompassing the heart of East Belfast has been named as a finalist for a prestigious UK wide award, The NextGen Digital Skills Award

The NextGen Digital Challenge Awards celebrate innovation, success and leadership in the UK’s digitally transformed economy dubbed ‘the Oscars’ for the best in next generation digital innovation.

Jonathan McAlpin, Chief Executive of East Belfast Enterprise, said: “We are thrilled that the first augmented reality project of its kind for East Belfast has been named as a finalist for a UK award.

“The project came about to redress the multiple challenges young people in East Belfast face arising from segregation, unemployment, low educational achievement, the presence of drugs and alcohol and a lack of positive role models. 

“East Belfast Enterprise and its partners developed the AR Story Project as a way to engage young people from either side of the sectarian divide to work together and tell their stories through a digital medium.”

The ‘AR Story’ Project engaged 22 young people from inner East Belfast to create a tourism product using technology, developing their understanding of self-employment and telling their story of where they live, in an augmented/virtual reality setting.  The young people scoped out the potential product, with Augmented Reality 360-degree camera technology to design and develop a suitable product for launch. They learned about cutting edge digital tools; technology to inspire the local young people to engage in their local area and their own personal skills development.

Participants familiarised themselves with how to market research, develop stories and create enriched content to ultimately create an AR or 360 degree video product for public distribution that tells one of the numerous stories about living in East Belfast.

View the project here: http://360tourhosting.com/eastbelfast1/index.htm

A partnership of East Belfast Enterprise, Young Enterprise NI, Charter NI and Story FX delivered the programme, which was funded by Urban Villages through the NI Executive.

The awards ceremony will take place in Houses of Parliament in London in October.