With live events on hold in the UK, Live Cinema UK are finding new ways to bring immersive experiences to audiences with an entirely new virtual reality project, thanks to the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK.

Through the national funding programme ‘Business-led innovation in response to global disruption’, Innovate UK are looking to UK businesses for innovative solutions that address the impact of Covid-19 across many industries.

Live Cinema UK’s project, Head Holiday, is a new platform bringing together all the best virtual and 360 degree travel, 

cultural, creative and nature content currently scattered across the internet. Over 8600 applications were made to the fund, and we are delighted to be one of the 800 projects selected.

The platform will give housebound audiences the know-how to view this content in the most immersive way possible, without the need for a headset or any virtual reality experience. 

It’s a direct response to the travel restrictions, the loss of in-person audiences, and the wellbeing needs of housebound audiences.

Through Head Holiday we want to support the travel and cultural sectors, as well as provide valuable immersive experiences for audiences whether they have a VR headset or not. 

Launching in early Autumn, Head Holiday will be a curated and searchable platform full of virtual trips you can take without leaving the house, and without having a virtual reality headset. All you need is a smartphone and some cardboard to be able to take your head on a holiday around the world, whether you’re anxious, bored, curious, or making plans for future travel.

Curated by Live Cinema UK’s team – with their expertise as film festival programmers, immersive producers, travel and culture journalists – and featuring collaboration with environmental psychologists, the platform will cut through the plethora of online content available to bring audiences the best existing and emerging virtual content from around the world. Content commissioning will also be on the cards as we look to creators for new ideas, as well as making new content in-house.

 

 

Alex Smalley

The technical development of the project is being created with Marmelo Digital, a London-based digital agency which specialises in creative technologies, including web, mobile, immersive and embedded systems.

Their clients range from the NHS to Tesco, from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Twitter, and includes a practice designed from the ground up to work collaboratively with smaller organisations in the cultural sector.

We’ll also be working with Alex Smalley, who is researching how virtual experiences of nature might impact health and wellbeing. His current focus is on the therapeutic potential of nature-based sounds, with applications for stress reduction in a number of settings. He is funded by the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health and based at the University of Exeter, UK.

Head Holiday is now in development and will launch in early Autumn. If you’re working in any of the relevant sectors and want to talk to us about content for the platform, or anything else to do with Head Holiday, email kate@livecinema.org.uk.