Discover the 6 innovative projects that will animate the Maritime Mile
Can innovative, digital ideas contribute to enriching a historic urban area? This is the Belfast’s HUB-IN bet.
Six creative and digital businesses have recently won a call for £120,000 of funding to bring this vision to life on the Maritime Mile. Together with heritage organisations and communities along the waterfront, they will develop prototypes implying technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence to enrich visitors’ experience.
HUB-IN is helping to nurture exciting new relationships between Belfast’s heritage and creative industries sectors, communities, and businesses along the Maritime Mile, and supporting people to develop valuable entrepreneurial and digital innovation skills – Christina Black, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee
Art, 3D animations, VR experiences: where heritage meets innovation
Successful projects include:
- Aura Digital Studios Limited – will create an Augmented Reality experience highlighting HMS Caroline’s heritage. The free-to-download mobile app will give a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people who worked on this First World War ship through WebXR, 3D animation and storytelling.
- Big Telly Theatre Company – will develop a digital and live interactive experience along the Maritime Mile. The adventure will begin at The Big Fish sculpture where visitors can talk to an AI Salmon of Knowledge, before engaging with live performers and 3D holographic experiences at City Quays, St Joseph’s Church, and Sailortown. Community partners include local artist Corrina Askin, The America Bar and Sailortown Regeneration.
- Darin Smyth – Darin Smyth, in partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College, will develop a new immersive digital experience, Maritime Echoes: An AI Voyage to the Past, bringing local historical figures to life using the latest AI technology. Visitors will be able to engage in ‘conversations’ with pioneer of Belfast shipbuilding William Ritchie; chairman of Harland and Wolff during the Titanic era Lord Pirrie; social reformer Mary Ann McCracken; Captain Henry Ralph Crooke, who led HMS Caroline during the Battle of Jutland; and a linen mill worker from the early 20th century.
- Flax & Teal – will develop interactive 3D/VR rooms along the Maritime Mile, giving visitors a lens into the generations who shaped the area. They’ll work with the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and local communities to develop new 2D and 3D experiences, using images, video, audio, and historic maps to tell local stories.
- Katya Solomatina – will develop ‘Memory Anchors’, a fine art initiative designed to engage people of all ages to discover new ways of expressing feelings through interactive digital sculpture and storytelling. The artist will collaborate with the Sailortown community on digital sculpting, AI-driven verbal art, photogrammetry and NeRF scanning (extracting 3D information from 2D images), sound recording, and improvisational storytelling to create immersive art pieces.
- Ulster Touring Opera – will work with EastSide Partnership and Whitepot Studios to develop a new immersive experience along the Yardman’s Trail using cutting edge technology such as 3D film, AI and Augmented Reality. The Yardman’s Trail celebrates the heritage links between east Belfast and the Maritime Mile, and visitors will be able to download a free app and experience residents telling their stories about the area.
Find out more on the Belfast’s HUB-IN here!