An immersive audience engagement platform for the heritage sector
Storyality is an innovative, highly accessible, audience engagement platform for the heritage sector, reflecting Arcade’s core mission of ‘connecting people to place through play’. It uses augmented reality to offer an entirely new way of immersing audiences into the narratives of historical locations, whether they are on-site, at home or anywhere else, using nothing more than their mobile device.
The vision for Storyality is for it to be implemented at multiple heritage locations across the UK and beyond, with a content management system that enables non-technical users to create their own stories and offer them to their audiences.
This first prototype is being created in partnership with UK Parliament: Using the majestic Westminster Hall as its physical canvas, it offers multiple perspectives on historical events and enables users to forge their own experience based on their responses to the narratives laid out in front of them. They experience these stories spatially, physically moving from one to the next, choosing which perspectives to engage with and which doorways to explore next.
This is an entirely new mode of experiencing a story, and our goal was to research the potential of this new form of immersive storytelling with audiences, as well as the technologies required to deliver it in a scalable way.
Storyality was tested with remote audiences to accommodate the challenges of the pandemic, and user response was overwhelmingly positive. They particularly enjoyed how different it is from traditional heritage interpretation; its ability to play with their sense of proximity to Westminster Hall despite being many miles away from it; the feeling of ‘stepping back through time’ to hear the stories of characters from centuries past, and their ability to determine their own path through the experience.
The research also generated tremendous insight into user behaviours and expectations when engaging with unfamiliar immersive experiences, which will be invaluable as Storyality progresses through further rounds of development.
- Jon Meggitt, Arcade Co-Founder & CEO – Project & Technical Lead
- Simon Hobbs, Arcade Co-Founder & Chief Design Officer – Design Lead
- Alex Book, Arcade Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer – Strategy Lead & Narrative Designer
- James Harvey – Lead AR Developer
- Frans Huntink – App Developer
- Dr Matthew Smith – Heritage Consultant
- Angela Chan – Storytelling & Creative Diversity Consultant