On behalf of The Highland Council, High Life Highland this week announced Airborne Lens as the successful partner for the immersive input to Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project.
Director of the Inverness Castle Project, Fiona Hampton, said: “This is a very exciting part of our project, allowing people to become immersed in the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands through virtual and augmented reality.
“Airborne Lens will be creating two immersive experiences, drawing inspiration from stories submitted by the area’s communities and this will form part of a travelling exhibition across the area.
“The company will also be creating interactive content for Inverness Castle, allowing our visitors to interact with and explore the Highlands and Islands landscape in new ways, such as augmented reality.”
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project will be delivered in partnership with VisitScotland and aims to deliver benefits for local communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region by engaging people with our rich natural and cultural heritage.
It is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF) led by NatureScot and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Reflecting the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands theme, it will encourage people to visit all parts of the Highlands and Islands in a sustainable way.
Airborne Lens is an award-winning team of experienced digital content producers.
For over 20 years they have been creating imagery and digital content from all over Scotland and were early adopters in 360-degree image capture and aerial 360 filming.
The team has worked on 360-degree VR video productions for the BBC, VisitScotland, Sail Scotland, Developing the Young Workforce, Forestry and Land Scotland and ScottishPower.
The company’s founder Liam Anderstrem said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Inverness Castle Project to create immersive experiences inspired by stories of the Highlands and Islands.
“The popularity and capability of immersive digital content has increased dramatically over the past few years. This exciting and engaging medium lends itself perfectly to the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project.
“It will offer users a deeper connection to the people and landscapes of the region, as they immerse themselves in a series of themed experiences.
“The immersive environment portals will bring people together in a safe space and allow them to enjoy inspirational journeys through the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands.
“Using the latest in 360-degree filming technology, we are looking forward to bringing these journeys to life.”
VisitScotland’s Regional Leadership Director Chris Taylor said: “Being able to immerse yourself in the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands is what makes a visit here so captivating, so I am looking forward to seeing what Airborne Lens will create using virtual and augmented reality to help bring that experience to life for visitors.
“This fantastic project will help encourage visitors to stay longer, visit all year round and explore more widely. Tourism is a force for good; creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing well-being.”
The delivery of this project is supported through the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF) led by NatureScot and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Through this project we will work together with NatureScot and other partner organisations such as VisitScotland to deliver a natural and cultural heritage project that will deliver many benefits for local communities throughout the Highlands and Islands, helping to unlock economic potential and improving visitor experiences across the region.
The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by £15 million Scottish Government and £3 million UK Government investment through the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. It will create a gateway for Highland tourism, contributing to reinvigoration of tourism across the area and providing much needed investment for the industry to aid the recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The project will support economic growth throughout the Highland area, creating a sustainable, viable and “must-see” attraction that will celebrate the spirit of the Highlands.
The Inverness and Highland City Region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.