Featured Resident: Rachel Henson, Outshift
After the success of showcasing at vrLab as part of TOMTech for Brighton Digital Festival, we managed to steal some time with FuseBox resident Rachel Henson to hear the latest developments from her company; Outshift.
Hello Rachel, can you tell us more about your company Outshift?
We make experiences that navigate audiences through real locations nudging live landscapes into immersive storyworlds. We explore hand-cranked and digital ways of merging a visual narrative with a live location. We’ve made work for international festivals (ANTI Festival Finland, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival) and natural heritage sites (National Trust, Natural England, Discovering Places). At the moment we are in the early stages of developing The Quizzer, a smartphone add-on with the potential to make mobile augmented reality truly immersive by tapping into our binocular vision to merge a visual narrative with the world around us.
FuseBox resident since…
What attracted you to AR?
I was making an analogue form of AR before the technology was around. We created sets of paper flick books which the audience used to navigate themselves around a real location. The idea for The Quizzer, which is digital yet is a new way of approaching AR, came out of this early work.
What have you learnt since being in The FuseBox?
I have learned how to talk about my work in the context of AR and to understand where the technology can intersect and be useful for the kind of experiences I want to make. This all came together for me when presenting at the VR Meet Up. Thanks to Maf’j Alvarez I’ve learned how about the kanban method of working, where you choose a focus for a two week sprint and ‘stand up’ with colleagues each morning to brief them on where you are with the task in hand including any blocks. The process has been an eye opener in terms of realising how many individual tasks go into completing a sprint, and helps reveal and log progress. All in all, co-working at the FuseBox rocks!
Favourite piece(s) of equipment from the Brighton Immersive Lab and why?
I’ve used the 360 cameras for a couple of experiments we’ve been running. I think the green cube will come in handy for making assets that we can quickly slot into new locations. Learning to find my way around Unity through the Immersive Lab workshops has been useful too.
Have you worked with anyone else from the FuseBox on a project?
Not yet, though we were all showing work at TOMTECH’s VRLab recently during Brighton Digital Festival.
As a city, what do you think separates Brighton from the rest of the UK?
It’s walkably small geographically yet feels very connected to the rest of the world in terms of creative innovation.
How do people find out more about your company?