Alan is LSBU's Head of Creative Technologies as well as Course Director for our VFX course.
As co-lead on the ACE IT project, my focus is working with the project team to get SMEs into Stage 2 of the project, where they can access the academic support to realise their projects.
My job involves an interesting mix of disciplines including games, animation, music and journalism, as well as all industry-standard digital tools and distribution platforms.
On a typical day, I'm meeting up with colleagues as much as possible - it's amazing how much you can get accomplished in five minutes face-to-face. Otherwise, I can be found either waging war on my inbox throughout the day, or tinkering with a new piece of software, trying to keep up with the kids.
My experience allows me to help people integrate and standardise processes from development through to distribution. The immersive content industry is still fairly embryonic and there's lots of friction in the content production processes.
It's important for industry and academia to work together as expertise and resources helps innovation happen. Most SMEs struggle to source/acquire the resources they need, and if they have access to resources, then expertise may be lacking - which is especially true at the moment with regard to VR, AR and Mixed Reality.
If I wasn't an academic, I'd probably be a plumber, as I've spent the last 20 years effectively pushing pizels down a pipeline.
"Significant change is on the horizon."
It's a fantastic time to be supporting companies to develop immersive content and services. Significant change is on the horizon as 5G is 'rolled out'. It will be similar in impact, I'd say, to the transition from analogue to digital back in the 80s and 90s.
My top tip for an immersive tech products is ... It's a great time to be developing content, products or applications for AR and immersive tech ... and inspiration can be found in unexpected places!