DIGITAL DIGBETH – Holosphere VR on why this is the place to be!
Right now, Digbeth is in the middle of a thrilling transformation into one of the most innovative tech hubs in Europe. Powered by the twin engines of Fazeley Studios and the Custard Factory, Digbeth has seen a significant spike in the number of small and medium companies specialising in the digital arts and tech sectors moving into the area.
Holosphere are one of those. The Virtual Reality company’s expertise lies in content and world creation and they utilise cutting edge technology and software to create compelling and exciting experiences for a wide audience of enthusiasts to explore.
The conception of Holosphere came about with the chance meeting of Birmingham-based entrepreneur Rob Halliday-Stein and video game design veteran Jay Molloy. A shared passion for evolving technology and virtual reality led to the pair creating Holosphere and bringing the company here to Digbeth shortly after.
The VR team was soon bolstered with the addition of Technical Director Sean Duffy to its ranks, who brought his experience in creative technologies to the company. Holosphere now have a talented and diverse team of virtual reality developers who create varied content for many different clients.
We asked Jay from Holosphere why everybody is talking about VR right now:
“Although Virtual Reality has been around in one form or another for many years, it is only now that we are seeing it truly in the hands of consumers. With the advent of affordable VR capable mobile devices and the more powerful VR headsets people are finally able to experience virtual reality in their homes.”
“The VR market is going to grow at a rapid rate and it is estimated that by 2020 there will be some sort of VR device in most homes. It’s not only games and entertainment that will drive VR forward, with Facebook acquiring VR company Oculus in 2014. You should expect to see VR being a great social interaction tool in the near future much like mobile devices are now.”
Jay also explained exactly why our corner of Birmingham was always going to be the company’s spiritual home;
“Basing our studio in Digbeth was the immediate choice when looking for a location. Digbeth has always had a strong technical and creative community associated with it, something we felt was important to help establish our studio’s culture. After a long day in virtual reality it’s good to know that the team can unwind in the one of the great places to eat and drink around Digbeth, there always seems to be something interesting going on in the area.”
Holosphere have recently worked with a host of fantastic clients including Jaguar Land Rover on really innovative VR content. The team also created a VR replica of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s Round Room as well as experiences based around the Staffordshire Hoard and the Boulton-Watt steam engine. The biggest news is that the team are also in the process of creating their first game for release later this year. They are also opening their doors to the public for the first time to try both the BMAG experience and also the game at this year’s Flatpack Film Festival.
Everybody is talking about Digital in Digbeth right now. Pioneering creatives Holosphere are just one of dozens of innovative companies working away in this thriving part of Birmingham. There are some big events and exciting news coming up over the coming months: keep your eyes on Digbeth, it really is the place to be!
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