Reflex Arc is an industry leading XR development studio, founded in 2011 to make an impact with immersive tech. At that time the Kinect depth sensor had just been launched. We made an early Kinect “hack”; later an installation at the National Science and Media Museum - still going to this day. We have continued working with the newest generations of VR technologies, from the first Oculus kickstarter/DK1 to the wireless headsets, trackers and sensors available today.
We have used technology to improve peoples’ lives, and to entertain and educate them, by pushing the boundaries of what is possible with immersive techniques. We’ve worked for globally renowned artists, Hollywood filmmakers, museums, as well as contributing to education platforms. Along the way we’ve won a number of awards and nominations including BAFTA and NHK's Japan Prize.
How recent works are changing the industry
Art: We’re helping to facilitate David Hockney to create his latest work on iPads and iPhones in various ways, including adding AR tools to his painting app, custom built for him, so he and his team can see and playback his work at huge scale, brush-stroke by brush-stroke, on any flat surface. We used Apple’s Metal SDK to give his studio assistants the ability to render the paintings at 16k and beyond for the best quality prints at large scale.
As Hockney studios began to prepare for their Royal Academy exhibition, which opened this year, we also added an AR element to his latest “Arrival of Spring” show/catalogue: the official “Hockney AR” app, bringing paintings to life in the immersive realm.
Film-making: We are using immersive technology to change how films are made, using VR to help aid the process, enable artists to achieve their visions and for studios to continue productions even during a pandemic.
Immersive Big Data Visualisation: We are part of Immersive Networks; a collective of artists, scientists and technologists dedicated to transforming complex information into engaging immersive and mixed reality experiences. Together we are behind the ongoing Born in Bradford VR experience, visualising big data through an immersive, multi-user experience. This allows users to truly understand the issues facing children in Bradford and to create more holistic solutions. The collective, as part of a wider team at the University of Leeds, have secured further funding from global charitable foundation Wellcome to develop medical humanities research.
Education: We contributed to Lyfta: an education platform which aims to nurture children to be empathetic, resilient global citizens by giving them access to meaningful and inspiring human stories from around the globe. ‘Lyfta Student’ is used in schools around the world to give children access to this content via the web or mobile app.
We also continued our work with the Virtual Plant Cell experience, assisting in the development of the classroom addition which allows users to interact with the submicroscopic inner-world of a plant via VR or 360-degree video. It is currently used in schools and outreach events across Australia.
We’ve helped our clients achieve results and enabled artists to keep creating. The Hockney AR app has been a great success and the Royal Academy of Art show quickly sold out, with rave reviews. We’re helping the film industry continue productions via immersive technology, even during a pandemic. We continue to innovate and use our technology to help our clients recover from the impact of COVID 19 and make a real difference.