The Millennium Forum is a theatre and conference centre based in Newmarket Street, Derry, Northern Ireland. It was the first purpose-built theatre in Derry and opened in 2001. It has a seating capacity of 1,000 and is the largest theatre stage in Ireland. It hosts entertainment of all kinds and can also be used as a meeting and conference venue.
The Millennium Forum wanted to create a Virtual Green Room and an Extended Reality experience. These experiences allow users to view hidden content or interviews with the celebrities who perform at the Forum, allowing customers to interact with them in a unique way.
To assist and make their idea a reality the Millennium Forum contacted North West Regional College (NWRC) XR (Extended Reality) Hub who supported them through the Innovation Voucher programme which is funded by Invest NI.
NWRC Creative & Digital Media Technical Consultant Aaron McKeever provided upskilling to develop unique scannable images which generate an augmented experience or 2D hologram of a recorded act or famous person who has played at the venue. This innovative technology allows users to access an immersive experience that is cost effective.
The company was able to successfully create Augmented Reality (AR) based experiences which could be used for tourism, educational tours and offers an experience unique to The Millennium Forum.
Cara McCartney, Development & Creative Engagement Manager at the Millennium Forum described the benefits of working with XR Hub via the Invest NI Innovation Voucher Programme:
“A tour of the XR Hub and visit to Fergal Tuffy of the NWRC ignited a new spark in the Millennium Forum. Aaron McKeever at NWRC has also been a true catalyst for innovation at The Millennium Forum. As the biggest theatre in the North West aiming to explore the realms of AR for the first time, we couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. Through the Innovation Voucher programme and Aaron’s expert guidance, we’ve taken the first steps towards bringing our characters to life long after they’ve graced our stage. With green screen footage featuring the likes of Derry Girl Jamie-Lee O’Donnell encouraging young people to get involved in the arts, our beloved Panto cast encouraging families to enjoy the theatre and Tommy Fleming praising our excellent facilitates for performers, we’re set to transform some of our walls into immersive canvases, delivering messages that will captivate and delight our visitors. Thanks to NWRC’s invaluable support, we’re entering a new era of engagement and entertainment, and we can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.’’