Research & Development

We lead on reports, research and creative tech projects about immersive media. Explore some of our R&D work below.

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The Immersive Promotion Bible is a large-scale sector-development bible for marketing immersive experiences. Led by Matthew Freeman, it was co-written with Catherine Allen, Dinah Lammiman, Alison Norrington and Naomi Smyth for StoryFutures Academy in 2021.

The Bible is based on substantial audience and cultural insight, reports, interviews, academic theory and industry advisory panels. It provides a road-map for how to market VR/AR experiences to today's

audiences, and addresses the following research questions:

  • Given the technological hybridity of VR/AR, how can the immersive sector develop promotional strategies that reflect this hybridity? What can be learnt from transmedia, film, games and theatre?

  • How can the immersive sector broaden the audience for VR/AR experiences through innovative promotional content that guides new audiences towards immersive environments?

  • How can the immersive sector communicate both the spectacle of VR/AR and its embodied experiences in/as promotional material?

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Is it possible to promote the unique pleasures that Virtual Reality offers without putting people in headsets? This was the question at the heart of this research project. We partnered with Anagram, drawing on their VR documentary Goliath: Playing With Reality as a case study for our R&D.


We tested out Thomas Baekdal’s theoretical characterisation of two ‘moments’ of a VR experience: (1) a ‘macro moment’, which refers to experiencing VR yourself in a headset; and (2) a ‘micro moment’, which is when VR is presented to people without a headset, and speaks to those who prefer watching others in VR rather participating in it.

What might promotional content for 'macro' and 'micro' moments of a VR experience look like? Is it possible to blend both of these approaches together within the same marketing campaign so to appeal to different kinds of audiences simultaneously? And which of these two approaches to promoting the magic of a VR experience would be most successful?

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In 2021 Immersive Promotion Design and Limina Immersive surveyed 3,544 British internet users to find out the proportion of the population who own a VR headset and the characteristics of these audiences. The sample was broadly reflective of the UK’s demographic make-up.

Our findings include a snapshot of how big the UK population's VR market is post-pandemic, as well as an insight into the gender, ethnic and behavioural makeup of this market, including consumer spend.

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The Invited, an Augmented Reality kirigami adaptation of the classic Dracula story, due launching as an immersive event in 2021. Set in a dark, secret location, a physical book and a mobile device spirit detector will summon a small audience through a beautifully unsettling experience in which each page turn reveals a new exquisite paper-craft world and a new set of atmospheric animations to those who were invited to Dracula's reincarnation. The Invited is produced by acclaimed multimedia artists Studio McGuire and has received support from CreativeXR.

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Virtual Veronese is a research and development prototype funded by StoryFutures Academy for The National Gallery in 2019. Produced by Focal Point VR, the project ran for two weeks in the National Gallery through a combination of VR and AR headsets (Oculus Quest & Magic Leap/Prism Mira). Visitors were transported back in time, invited to experience Paolo Veronese’s painting The Consecration of Saint Nicholas as it would have been seen in its original chapel setting in 1562.

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As well as developing sector understanding of how to better market immersive experiences to audiences, we also contribute to academic scholarship in the field of immersive media, publishing our R&D as articles and books. This research is led by Matthew Freeman, and a sample of our latest academic publications can be explored below.

  • ​Freeman, Matthew (2021) '"I am not really sure how to explain": Marketing Augmented Reality Experiences to New Audiences', International Journal of Creative Media Research, 7.

  • Freeman, Matthew (2021) 'Marketing Virtual Reality Experiences … Without the Headset: Watching, Playing and Fearing Anagram’s Goliath', Media Practice and Education, DOI: 10.1080/25741136.2021.1969500

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