The UK’s first purpose-built centre for innovation in XR technology – powered by SmartStage

The Project

The University of Portsmouth’s new £7 million Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR) is the UK’s first purpose-built centre for innovation in extended reality (XR) technology. CCIXR brings together a whole suite of the very latest XR technologies under one roof to support innovation in virtual, augmented, and extended realities. The Centre offers world-class XR training, research and development, addressing a critical skills shortage in a fastmoving industry and supporting the creation of high-value jobs regionally, nationally and beyond.

The Brief

Funded by University investment and £3.6 million from Solent LEP, the objective for the Centre was to build on the University’s globally renowned expertise in creative technologies. Key to this was building the facilities to offer world-class XR training, research and development. It also needed to address a critical skills shortage in this fast-moving industry and support the creation of high-value jobs regionally, nationally and beyond. For CCIXR, the University of Portsmouth wanted to create the whole immersive pipeline under one roof. Virtual production is a key part of that, but also the flexibility and further skill set that has been enabled by WL’s SmartStage – such as the ability to turn the camera and pan around to the rest of the digital world, as well as manipulate that world thanks to all the extra software that the SmartStage features.

The Delivery

The Delivery To deliver this ground-breaking Centre, the University worked with industry-leading companies to ensure that CCIXR features the very latest XR technology – both now and in the future – across its facilities, which include: • Motion Capture (MoCap) Studio • SmartStage® and full Virtual Production and Mixed Reality Studio • Photogrammetry & Scanning Studio • Volumetric Video Studio • XR Studio • Music Technology and Sound Studios (including Dolby Atmos) • Projection Mapping • Spatial Computing Lab • Game Development • Digital Coding Development Spaces • Meeting & Conferencing Facilities The installation of the SmartStage gives users the flexibility to push the boundaries of integration with different technologies in the toolkit, enhancing their learning journey. Content sources such as AR, photogrammetry, motion capture and volumetric video are streamed directly into the SmartStage, making the Centre a one-stop immersive environment for XR innovation and education. WL is continuing to work closely with the University, through supporting the CCIXR’s physical hardware and installation, as well as providing ongoing training and support for both lecturers and students. WL’s role as an innovation partner to the University, allows them to help students fully utilise and push the CCIXR’s groundbreaking facilities to its limits. The collaboration also enables the ongoing exploration of ways in which technologies can be further developed in the future.

"To have all of this different technology available in one space is incredible and offers the opportunity to explore the digital pipelines and the talent of the future. It allows new production techniques to be explored and has opened up the possibility of experimenting with new techniques and collaborations".

Alex Councell

CCIXR - University of Portsmouth

The Results

CCIXR experts have already worked with organisations including the Royal Navy and Royal Shakespeare Company, and have supported over 100 others with information and training in XR technologies through the Enabling XR Enterprise (eXRe) project, funded by the Government’s £220m UK Community Renewal Fund.

"What I love about WL is their commitment to innovation, their R&D and their willingness to try things. Our partnership with WL is very much centred around this collaborative approach. We don't just want to focus on what's currently achievable; we want to look ahead for the next 5-10 years and ask, "how do we make this possible together?"

Pippa Bostock

CCIXR - University of Portsmouth

Project Summary

Client: University of Portsmouth

Venue: The Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR)

Event: Senior Leadership Team Conference

WL Delivery Team: Project Manager – Adam Trout Media Solutions Manager – Simon Hyland Head of Systems Design – Nick Atkins

Key Technology Partners: White Light Ltd – SmartStage®

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