Published 6 December 2021

A Christmas message from DC Labs

In 2021 we’ve continued to be creative, curious and committed to sharing our research outputs in an accessible and engaging way. Alongside our long-term R&D projects, we've embarked on a number of exciting new projects, and formed new partnerships and interdisciplinary connections. 

This year we hosted another inspirational Summer School - our largest yet - and we launched our Digital Creativity Speaker Series, introducing new perspectives from across academia and industry to inspire research.

A snapshot of our new and active projects includes:

  • Our exploration of interactive and immersive media via the Cutting Room tool continues to evolve. In collaboration with partner Bright White, our work is part of the ‘Shape of Sound’, an exhibition exploring sound through VR technology at the National Science and Media Museum. This year we also explored best practice in the field through OFCOM workshops looking at Object-Based Media.
  • 2021 marked the culmination of the Weavr esports project where researchers from DC Labs developed next generation immersive experiences for esports spectators. Most recently the Weavr team worked alongside colleagues in the Department of Theatre, Film, TV and Interactive Media to transform the University’s immersive 3Sixty room into a virtual production studio.
  • With local partner Revolution Software, we’re using a novel AI technique to automatically generate stylised game assets and accelerate the game production process. This is a great example of using our research to pioneer new approaches to creative practice.
  • DC Labs Pump Priming funds have enabled new partnerships and we’re now working with Leeds Children’s Hospital on the Personalising Cancer, Fertility and Me project. 
  • Another collaboration made possible by Pump Priming is the Architexture 5 project which aims to create new audience-centric musical performance through virtual acoustic technology, with the Departments of Music, Electronic Engineering, and Archaeology.
  • This year we joined forces with the Department of Health Sciences and the local NHS trust on ComBAT, a large research programme that aims to help young people with depression. 
  • We’re working with the Forensic Speech Science research group on Sound Jury, a new project to explore the use of voice analysis for solving crime. 

Research from the DC Labs team continues to be widely published at conferences and in journals. Our case study on Conversational AI for children was published in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction. Our paper on Team Flight Prediction was published at the 2021 Conference on Games, and at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference we presented a paper detailing The Performance Index: A new way to compare players.

Looking ahead to the new year, we are preparing for the integration of DC Labs into the new School of Digital Creativity and Performing Arts as the University’s hub for research in technology driven creative practice. 

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas.