Digital content for immersive experiences
A flexible digital content solution to inspire sixth-form college students
Immersive content for education
The three colleges of the Advance Colleges Trust (ACT) – Franklin, John Leggott and Wilberforce – had been successful in receiving funding from the department for education as part of the Strategic Development Fund (SDF). The colleges were involved in a pilot project that aimed to make young people aware of the emerging opportunities around green energy and the broad STEM agenda (including logistics). Feel Created (Feel) was tasked with creating a series of bespoke digital materials for use within three separate immersive spaces, designed, built and installed by Igloo Vision (Igloo).
Feel was initially tasked with creating a series of ten videos, which could be played within the immersive environment and through the ACT YouTube channel. Our agency worked with videography partner Boardwalk Studio to develop these videos, focusing on interviewing key personnel in businesses within the target sectors. In addition, twenty-five static digital assets were required in a suitable format to work across all three locations to create a comprehensive experience.
Feel quickly saw the opportunity to create better dynamism within the assets and greater consistency across the three separate spaces, which hosted screens of varying sizes and configurations, by creating a content management system (CMS) solution. The content management system would allow content creators from across the three sites (with varying knowledge of the Igloo system) to edit and create additional content in a flexible, familiar WordPress environment. The three spaces were a 180-degree space at John Leggott, a 360-degree space at Wilberforce and a cube-format screen at Franklin, all powered by an Igloo Immersive Media Player each (or IMP for short).
Producing an immersive experience
Igloo was tasked with creating an immersive experience without geographical boundaries. The Igloo team worked closely with leaders at all three colleges to develop immersive classrooms that would offer new learning experiences across the A-level curriculum. As a group, ACT wanted to extend the reach of that curriculum by creating shared, consistent experiences at each campus.
While each Igloo offers similar features in terms of content and applications, the actual setup installed at each college differed. The Igloo at John Leggott College is a 180-degree solution that offers an ideal space for presentations as well as immersion for smaller groups. Franklin College chose to upgrade an existing classroom with Igloo immersive technology. And Wilberforce, after visiting an Igloo demo centre, chose a full 360-degree cylinder, installed in an internal courtyard. The Igloos at John Leggott and Wilberforce are powered by an IMP1 and Franklin College uses an IMP2 to handle the powerful 10-projector array.
The key was to make sure that staff at any of the colleges could work with each Igloo installation. So, each Igloo benefits from the Igloo Enterprise software suite, giving them a range of capabilities. Each can access traditional format content such as regular videos and images, as well as use cloud-based content such as Google Street View and YouTube 360 videos. They’re also kitted out with video-conferencing so those using the Igloos can communicate with each other across the campuses.
Although the Igloos are very different in their shapes and sizes, the Igloo software itself offers a consistent, user-friendly experience in each of them. Content can be easily adapted for each one, and that’s where Feel came in to make it even easier for staff to work with stunning content. Read Igloo’s case study here.
Visually impactful immersive content
Delivering dynamic and engaging content
Rather than producing a series of static graphics, the team used various timing techniques to deliver a dynamic 'animated' look and feel. Imagery and text were timed to fade, slide and appear and count-up timers were added to emphasise key statistics. The CMS solution built by Feel delivered a more engaging content deck than would have been possible with flat text and imagery.
Each set of assets suits the individual Igloo space to immerse viewers in the content. Users could set the solution to play by click or on a loop – the user has full control, supporting their preferred delivery.
Editable immersive content
Making adding and editing content easy
ACT intends to get the most out of its immersive experiences – the SDF pilot project was just the start. The three colleges will use the spaces for employee interactions, presentations, lectures, careers and open events and to enhance day-to-day learning. Feel's CMS solution allows content managers across all three sites to edit, add and preview content easily within a framework. Editing assets was vital for consistency, considering that content creators are not necessarily technically adept.
Content creation and system management would not even be part of their day job in many cases! By utilising WordPress, a popular and generally familiar CMS, Feel ensured that ACT staff across all colleges could easily edit and update content in an on-brand framework for future projects.
Adaptive immersive content
Creating consistent content across all three spaces
Feel designed and built a single CMS solution with three separate logins for content managers at each college setting. The assets of each college were developed to ensure that the digital content was displayed correctly in each immersive space according to its size and shape. If the three screens were closer in size and shape, only one set of assets would be required to play across all spaces.
The site restricts access to those with login credentials, but the content library is shared. Content managers can access all ACT content added to the system but cannot delete files to ensure content stability across all three immersive spaces.
The Igloo immersive space combined with Feel’s CMS solution went beyond ACT’s original expectations, offering an easily editable and updatable series of dynamic assets. The flexible solution offers ACT much better value for money than a static asset suite. ACT staff can update and add content consistently across all three locations, which is ideal for collaborative projects.
John Leggott College held a launch event for its 180-degree Igloo immersive experience on 5th May 2022. During the event, staff demonstrated the capabilities of the space to students, teachers and representatives of the local community. Feedback following the event was extremely positive, with staff and government officials commenting on the exciting learning opportunities the immersive experience will provide.
We look forward to further feedback as staff across all three colleges get to grips with editing and adding content.
at John Leggott, stated:
"This 3D space will transform the teaching and learning experience on a daily basis." Mr Watkinson added that "this cutting edge technology allows learners to experience a whole range of different workplaces and career opportunities without actually setting foot outside the campus. We are providing a learning environment fit not only for the remainder of the 21st century but looking ahead to the 22nd century."
"It’s been in the planning stages since April 2021, and we got the confirmation of the investment in November 2021. It’s been an amazing experience to see it come to life and a pleasure to work alongside the team and see our work come to fruition for the benefit of learners and the wider community."