Five star reviews for this first of its kind and hugely ambitious blending of mixed reality technologies with real world theatrical sets and actors
UK Research and Innovation, The Almeida Theatre, Sky, Magic Leap, University of Exeter
Mixed Reality, Immersive Theatre, Projection Mapping, Narrative Storytelling, Future of Performance
Mixed reality, projection mapping, 3D depth sensing, hand tracking, spatial anchors
To used mixed reality technologies to reimagine an immersive theatre experience and explore how different creative disciplines can work together.
“Immersive theatre doesn’t come much slicker than this.”
What's On Stage
“Leaves me slack jawed in wonder… It’s the best version of VR I’ve experienced; I was dodging and yelping at things my rational brain knew weren’t there”
The Evening Standard
FACTORY 42 ROLE
CONCEPT AND DESIGN
Worked as co-artistic leads with The Almeida Theatre to define the concept of the show and how it would be delivered to audiences. Designed and delivered all multi-media aspects.
Sourced the Hoxton Docks venues, installed sets and operated full experience including ticketing, H&S and VIP evening events
Created all software, interactions, art, animations
KEY F42 CONTACT
Director of Product Delivery and Executive Producer
Lost Origin is a boundary-breaking piece combining theatre, cutting-edge mixed reality, and state-of-the-art interactive technologies. The live story experience was produced by Factory 42 in partnership with Almeida Theatre and Sky, using interactive technologies to forge new ground in live performance.
What was Lost Origin?
A collaborative and multidisciplinary research partnership, it was majority funded by UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Audience of the Future programme as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s initiative to explore new types of audience experiences. It was the culmination of a series of research and development outputs exploring how audiences of the future will enjoy new forms of entertainment and visitor experiences. It brought together world-class storytellers, technology companies and academics to explore and pioneer cutting-edge immersive experiences through ground-breaking storytelling.
The audience experience:
Throughout Lost Origin, participants’ skills and imagination are needed to be part of Wing 7, a secret undercover unit. Their mission is to covertly enter the headquarters of Origin, a warehouse in Hoxton, suspected to be a front for an illegal dark web marketplace. Throughout the immersive adventure, audiences weave through beautifully designed and interactive rooms created using bleeding-edge technology to bring the narrative journey to life, allowing audiences to become part of the world around them and eliciting a sense of awe and wonder.
The technology and innovation:
Lost Origin explores unprecedented ways of capitalising on the otherworldly interplay between physical and digital worlds. Using computer vision, light field scanning and gesture recognition technologies, participants wearing the Magic Leap headset are able to experience the same augmented realities from different stand points, allowing them to explore each room individually while moving through as a team.
Interactive projections combine state-of-the-art Intel RealSense depth-sensing hardware, AI-based human segmentation, and post detection software from NuiTrack, alongside systems developed in-house to ensure the mixed reality headsets can trigger associated physical actions, such as objects dropping in time, with the AR narrative.
What the main funder said:
“The word that seems to come up often is jaw-dropping. It’s the most impressive demonstration of the potential of mixed reality that I or a lot of other people have seen. It’s an amazing experience.” Andrew Chitty
UKRI challenge director for the Audience of the Future Programme, Andrew Chitty, said: “The integration of immersive technologies, AI, projection mapping, haptics and new forms of interactive technologies into visitor experiences, from museums to theme parks, is incredibly exciting both creatively and commercially. While the pandemic has kept us out of venues, Factory 42 and its partners have been working incredibly hard to bring these technologies together in a dynamic, creative and at times astonishing live experience. Anyone who is interested in the future of museums, galleries, immersive theatre, storytelling and technology will get a glimpse of that future through Lost Origin.”