StoryFutures Announces the Winner of the Connect XR Programme

  • StoryFutures
  • September 8th 2023

StoryFutures are delighted to announce Hatsumi as the winning SME for the Connect XR programme. The programme will see Hatsumi collaborate with the StoryFutures team, the Department of Health Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London and key partners from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead libraries and social prescribing teams, to explore the role that next generation technologies can play in enhancing people’s lives.

Novel collaborations are demonstrating the potential value and cost savings to be gained from the application of XR in healthcare outside of clinical settings. StoryFutures’ successful collaboration with libraries to date has demonstrated that they are uniquely equipped to showcase XR experiences and play a critical role in offering human contact and support to a broad range of people. Working with XR healthcare and health economics expertise, this programme will pilot an innovation pathway that enables the implementation of scalable opportunities for XR in health and wellbeing solutions in libraries and test the viability of integration social prescribing models in the future.

Hatsumi will receive a £30,000 cash R&D award from StoryFutures, to develop and test a new innovation pipeline which brings together the core partnerships required to support the further development of their XR health solution SoulPaint, which will be showcased in Maidenhead library in November 2023. SoulPaint, co-produced by Hatsumi and Dutch studio Monobanda, is a hybrid VR installation that invites audiences to discover and express their inner emotional and sensory world. Inspired by body mapping, an existing arts and health method that enables people to visually represent embodied lived experience through a creative participatory process, SoulPaint translates and expands this process by transitioning it into VR. Participants are able to use a range of visual 3D drawing tools to draw, paint and sculpt their emotions and sensory experience, before embodying the artwork and making further connection to their own experience through movement. This project is also supported by Immerse\Interact programe Creative Industries Fund NL and the Netherlands Film Fund and Unity for Humanity. Early prototype support was also provided by Creative XR developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England.

Sarah Ticho, Director of Hatsumi, commented “We are thrilled to be part of the Connect XR programme, which will help us to bring SoulPaint to wider audiences who can truly benefit from the experience. We believe that immersive storytelling has the potential to transform health and wellbeing, and are delighted to be working with StoryFutures, Royal Holloway, and the wider social prescribing consortium to bring XR into public spaces”.

Share this article: