Academics from TUS, TCD and Irish company VRAI join a multinational consortium who will focus on using XR tech for content creation and consumption.

A new EU-funded, Irish-based project aims to leverage the so-called ‘metaverse’ – or extended reality (XR) tech – to benefit the media and arts sectors.

Extended reality (XR) refers to the concept of a 3D internet and it underpins the ideas behind ‘the metaverse’.

The €9m Transmixr project is to be led out of the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS). It will bring together a consortium of researchers, design partners and media companies from 19 countries.

Transmixr is being funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe fund, which is dedicated to new technologies and innovation. It will focus on supporting remote collaboration practices among media and content creators who use XR, as well as providing an avenue for consumption of XR media experiences.

Dr Niall Murray, the TUS-based coordinator of Transmixr, claimed it would “ignite the immersive media sector by enabling new narrative visions”. Murray is based at the university’s Athlone campus. He is also an investigator working with Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Adapt Centre.

“Transmixr is a very exciting project that will create a suite of user-centric technologies to support the creation, consumption and understanding of new media experiences in distributed, collaborative and immersive ways,” said Murray, adding that the project would be “underpinned by the convergence of AI and XR”.

According to Murray, the new XR tech will be evaluated and informed by real end users.

The project will see the development and testing of four pilots that bring the vision of future media experiences to life across news media, broadcasting, performing arts and cultural heritage.

The project will run for three years, with its kick-off meeting scheduled to take place in Athlone on 25 and 26 of October. As part of its role in leading it, TUS will be looking at human-centric AI for XR audience understanding.

Murray said that a key strength of the Transmixr project consortium is its interdisciplinary nature, “bringing complementary technical, methodological and domain expertise together to create impactful solutions for the creative and culture sectors.”

The other Irish partners involved in Transmixr are Dublin-based VRAI and Trinity College Dublin. VRAI recently developed a new programme for training defence and military professionals using VR and metaverse tech.

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