Bristol has been our home now for the last 13 years and we love it here. One of the reasons that Giggle was set up in Bristol is the film legacy of the city. In 2017 Bristol became a UNESCO City of Film thanks to the huge role that film plays in the cities heritage (click here to read about film and TV that was filmed in Bristol). But now Bristol is also becoming known as one of the top VR and immersive experience cities in the UK.

A report by Innovate UK about the UK’s Immersive Economy found that Bristol was one of the leading cities in the world for immersive tech. Whilst 38% of immersive companies are based in London, Bristol is one of the cities chasing at London’s tail. Bristol also was second only to London when it came to the number of VR and immersive experiences taking place in the city last year.

One of the reason’s that VR does so well in Bristol is because of all the research that takes place in the city. The University of Bristol and the University of West England have both invested a vast amount of money into researching VR. The money that both universities invested, alongside funding from the Watershed and Virtual Reality Developer, Opposable Group, was used to open the Bristol VR Lab. The Lab is a co-working space specially created for developers and designers of the technology to work on new projects and test out new developments. The lab has everything from AR and VR headsets, to the latest technology, green screen motion capture technology, experimental controllers and a range of 360 filming devices.

We the Curious also has a huge part to play in Bristol’s relationship with immersive tech. The science centre has not only inspired countless children over the years to study science but it is also home to the only 3D planetarium in the UK. This allows them to use 3D content and audio to create immersive events. One of the events on at the planetarium at the moment is ‘Planetarium Nights: Life in the Universe 3D’ which gives viewers a guided tour of the known universe, including views of distant and newly discovered planets.

VR has even managed to work its way into Bristol’s shopping scene thanks to the introduction of Immotion VR in Cabot Circus. Immotion VR brings VR to an audience that before may not have been able to access it. By being located in the middle of a shopping centre the perception of VR has changed to being an activity similar to going to the cinema. Immotion VR has a whole range of different experiences ranging from 5 minutes to 1 hour, with the possibility to work as a group or individually. The different experiences include everything from swimming with whales, rally car driving and horror experiences.

Bristol’s rich heritage of film interlocks with VR when it comes to cinema experiences. Bristol is the home to the first-ever VR cinema, Liminia. Liminia opened earlier this year and shows a range of different VR experiences including Cirque Du Soleil, sharks and wolves.

We think all of this makes Bristol a pretty great place to live and work, especially as a creative organisation. Bristol’s connection with film and innovative technology allows us to develop new ideas and remain constantly inspired. If you’d like to see our creativity in action then give us a call on 0117 972 0081 or email jon@studiogiggle.co.uk

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