The wAVE Project recently released their 2021 Impact Report, an in-depth report covering its partners, case studies, achievements and objectives for the future. The wAVE (AVE = Augmented and Virtual Experiences) Project is funded by the Coastal Communities Fund and has been developed by Cornwall Museums Partnership alongside Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and Falmouth University. The project is designed to develop new immersive reality experiences within the five participating communities of Bude, Looe, St Agnes, Porthcurno and the Isles of Scilly to support digital innovation and economic diversification and benefit the local economy. This interactive document, created by Ellie Smith the wAVE Digital Project Administrator Apprentice, has been designed to give an in-depth and engaging overview of the project for those interested in it’s development and impact, and can be viewed here.
The project’s public-facing name is Coastal Timetripping, which promotes the five immersive experiences and the coastal communities they are based in. wAVE is the internal name of the project and covers much more than just the immersive experiences. wAVE includes the various other smaller initiatives that have developed from the project, which the Impact Report goes into detail about – for instance the public tech introduction sessions, which are an important part of wAVE ’s aim to support digital innovation and improve skills in this sector in Cornwall. These sessions covered topics such as build a chatbot, AI and ethics, inclusive immersive, immersive marketing and 3D tours. Hannah Erwin, Visitor, Events and Marketing manager at Bodmin & Wenford Railway, said:
“It’s been great to discover how cutting-edge tech and digital can work for even a small organisation like ours. I also love the interactive, hands-on sessions, with practical tools and methods you can take way and use immediately”
The Impact report also includes the Museums Immersive Network (MIN), which started as an offshoot from wAVE but which CMP now intends to continue after the end of the project. MIN is an opportunity for both tech and museum experts to network and further realise the potential of immersive technology within the sector. MIN has organised two very successful online conferences with international attendance on museums and the use of immersive technology. Alongside MIN’s bi-annual webinars, it also hosts a series of podcasts called ‘Immersively, Museums’. For further information you can see our webpage on MIN here; follow MIN on Twitter or watch the January 2021 MIN webinar ‘Futureproofing Museums for a Post-Covid World: The Potential of Immersive Tech’ on the CMP YouTube Channel here. There is also a fortnightly newsletter with information about the project’s work, as well as the sector in general, which you can sign up to here.
Regarding the immersive experiences, the Impact Report additionally has input from the museums involved in the project and their experiences of developing the immersive experiences and the training that is run alongside it. There are 5 museums involved: The Museum of Global Communications PK Porthcurno, Isles of Scilly Museum, St Agnes Museum, The Bude Castle Heritage Centre and Looe Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol. These museums have continued working alongside CMP even during the lockdown, Petra Stephenson from Looe Old Guidhall Museum and Gaol stated that for their volunteers ‘this has given them an essential focus in their lives’, and further commented:
“Our Trustees have been very impressed by how the whole project has given a newfound confidence to many of our volunteers… most importantly the whole project has given the museum a new vision and the ability to share new stories in a very innovative way.”
Finally, the report also covers the future goals and priorities of the wAVE project, based on previous learnings and projections for the future. This includes the Museums Immersive Network but also other projects such as ‘New Ways of Navigating Audio Archives’ which we hope to provide more information on in the coming months.
– Magali Guastalegnanne, wAVE Digital Marketing Intern
You can also find out more on the Coastal Timetripping website.