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We have used 2-dimensional media for centuries to access content and knowledge – pages in books and newspapers, screens in cinemas, televisions, computers and smartphones. Immersive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality take us further by placing us right inside incredible virtual environments. They enhance the world around us with useful, usable information. Immersive seems about to realise the dreams of science-fiction writers and futurists, transforming how we communicate, work and play. There is much excitement about the growth prospects for the sector, and about the UK’s ability to reap the rewards of the immersive boom. Our historical strengths in arts, science and technology are coming together in new, globally leading ventures with strong backing from government. This report, commissioned by Immerse UK with funding from Innovate UK, provides hard data about the size of the sector, its performance, its geography, the drivers of success and the barriers to growth. Information was gathered by Nesta, with help from Glass – a start-up with expertise in text mining from websites – and from strategy and research consultancy MTM London. It used methods that combined mining of data, a business survey and in-depth interviews.

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