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“The Engine Shed stands as a beacon of digital innovation in heritage, offering dynamic training and immersive learning experiences, made possible by cutting-edge technology.”

Dr Lyn Wilson
Head of Research and Climate Change, Historic Environment Scotland

The product

The Engine Shed houses two immersive spaces – a custom six-metre cylinder and a portable three-metre cube. 

The six-metre cylinder envelopes users in a seamless 270º panoramic canvas, integrated into a previously installed theatre – enabling HES to explore a wide variety of user cases and display mediums. Utilising WUXGA projectors, we worked closely with Electrosonic to ensure existing content was optimised as effectively as possible, with minimal distortion or loss of fidelity.  

In addition, the three-metre projected cube delivers a similarly immersive environment with greater flexibility, as its modular design and simple disassembly allows for it to be taken on the road to show a range of visitors at HES’ 300+ historic properties across Scotland. 

The result

Both installations can operate as a standalone experience, but combined, they push the user and learner experience further, creating unique, first-person-like experiences of remote or inaccessible historic sites from one location. They create total immersion, making visitors feel as though they are exploring the sights themselves, which is ideal for virtually visiting locations that are otherwise too difficult to visit.  

The flexibility of both solutions enables HES to deliver dynamic training and improve the visitor experience of its different sites, with the cube’s portable style allowing the team to take the immersive experience anywhere. 

As an early adopter of our Igloo Core Engine software, the HES team can easily refresh its content, creating a digital experience visitors can return to in the future. Igloo’s content-agnostic approach also means the HES team can use the content across a variety of platforms, granting them flexibility in their presentation. 

ICE also provides the team with the tools to quickly turn the exhibition space into a presentation space, something the HES team had identified as a useful tool for working with local schools. 

An additional custom LED solution, provided by Electrosonic, further elevated HES's existing digital content in an innovative way, enhancing the user experience by allowing realistic portrayals of sites from a centralised location and broadening HES’s digital offering.

Going forward

Having the duo of immersive spaces has transformed the way that HES are able to showcase the varied and historic sites of Scotland.

Not only does the user experience benefit, but thanks to the easy integrations of our software with HES’s existing digital archives, it has been a quick process to get the installations up and running. 

More content is planned for the spaces, including utilising cutting-edge techniques to gather more digital content of existing sites and sites not yet captured, expanding the use cases of both structures.  

Plans are also afoot to take the cube to a variety of events to showcase the best of what Scotland’s historic environment offers at venues across the country.