‘We believe that creativity and technology can change the world for the better, and LAUNCH gives us a vessel in which we can explore our ideas with total freedom.’
– Helen Bellringer, Creative Director,
We’re proud to announce the take-off of our creative accelerator programme, LAUNCH; a blend of R&D, innovation, and collaboration. Designed to bring together the studio’s tech natives and forward-thinking network, LAUNCH is a space where they can experiment, unleash ideas, and bring new technological solutions to life.
“The team is thrilled to announce this news,” said Helen Bellringer, Creative Director of Solarflare Studio. “We’ve created distinct formats for LAUNCH that give us a framework for a fast, iterative approach to prototyping. This disciplined way of working makes our ideas tangible and more likely to blossom into fruition.” They continue: “At Solarflare, we believe that creativity and technology can change the world for the better, and LAUNCH gives us a vessel in which we can explore our ideas with total freedom. Inviting creatives to collaborate expands our horizons and diversifies our ways of thinking, meaning we’re not stuck in an echo chamber of our own talents.”
The World's First Mixed Reality Masquerade
An example of the new programme in action is the World’s First Mixed Reality Masquerade – AR Masked Ball.
In collaboration with artist Charlotte Dillon from Head of House Designs, the LAUNCH team took a futuristic glimpse into wearable holographic fashion, merging tradition with augmented reality in their latest project.
Using Dillon’s Tilt Brush designs, they created a custom-built AR application using the latest smart glasses. The multi-user experience allows guests to see each other’s bespoke masks and their own, tracked in real-time in the digital space.
Artist Charlotte Dillon from HoH Design expresses, “Seeing others in equally fantastical headpieces will transport the wearer into a playground, a bit like the classic masquerade – but the question is – how does it affect how you feel, move and interact with the world around you?
15+ years’ experience of masks has taught HoH that it doesn’t take long for the mask to take over. Wearers are often impacted by the stereotypical characteristics of a creature – naughty fox, show-off peacock. But by distorting these characters into a futuristic world, what effect does it have on the wearer?”
“Using the latest technology, you can wear a pair of glasses and see essential holograms floating in front of you. The idea was to take these holograms and design virtual masks which people could then wear as they moved around in the shared space.” Chief Technology Officer Stuart Cupit from Solarflare Studio explained. “This LAUNCH project is ready to roll out at events and corporate parties. If you want to push your traditional masked ball into the digital realm, get in touch!”
FIVE DISTINCT formats
Our journey of innovation and growth is more than a mechanism to inform clients and the wider community of the latest emerging technology. It follows five core exploration formats to facilitate collaboration and to push the boundaries of what’s possible:
For reactive and topical experimentations that showcase existing tech with a dynamic twist. The goal of ‘IGNITE’ is to engage audiences with our unique use cases of the technology and for the team to have some fun hacking it.
With so many innovative artists the team admires, this format is where we invite fresh artistic and technical talent who use cutting-edge tech on board to expand our network. Be it for key events, holidays or seasons, this curated collaboration is where we commission visually stunning and thought-provoking work to share with the industry.
‘BOOSTER’ keeps us ahead of the latest tech advancements, exploring both new hardware and software with partnering brands. As we test their new discoveries and offer our exclusive expertise, it creates a mutually beneficial PR opportunity and relationship.
‘MISSION’ sits as our internal explorative journey of discovery to push the boundaries of what technology can do. As we seek to find a new way of doing something, be it exploring new hardware or software, our creative and technical teams collaborate to offer unique experiences that captivate our audience. By challenging conventional ideas, we produce solutions that inspire people to be a part of.
Fusing the technical talents of the company with external artists, this collaborative project provides a platform for artists to explore the latest innovative mediums, and the AR Masked Ball project is a key example of ‘FUSION’ in action. As an opportunity to explore higher thinking and reach a new audience, this fusion of technology and art imagines completely unique experiences with artists showcasing their work through new avenues of artistic expression.