W5, Northern Ireland’s Science and Discovery Centre, is launching a new £1m fully immersive digital attraction that will take the visitor experience to a new level and boost tourism.
The AMAZE experience at W5, which was unveiled at a special premiere, opens to the public on 1st June 2019.
It will be the UK and Ireland’s first tourist attraction to combine all the elements of immersive soundscapes, multi-screen projections, physical props and structures, 360 degree projection and augmented reality (AR) portals enabling visitors to delve into new worlds and experience technological innovations first hand.
The first exhibition ‘Land of Legends’ is a visual, storytelling extravaganza revealing how Northern Ireland was formed by fire and ice, and how its stunning landscapes have encouraged incredible mythical tales of giants and dragons.
W5 Chair Catherine O’Mullan said: “AMAZE is an important part of the development and transformation of W5. This immersive technology will allow us the opportunity to create new exhibitions that will appeal to people of all ages. For our first exhibition, we have had the privilege of working with some of Northern Ireland’s most creative individuals to bring this fantastic experience to life including Game of Thrones storyboard artist William Simpson and local landscape photographer Tony Dalton.”
The project was supported by the Inspiring Science Fund, a scheme co-founded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome. Additional support came from the Odyssey Trust, and Tourism NI, which provided £400k from its Immersive Technology Fund.
AMAZE will support Tourism NI’s ambition to double tourism value by 2030 with the continuing development of compelling immersive tourism attractions.
Rosemarie McHugh Tourism NI Director of Product Development said: “Digital technologies have transformed how visitors can engage with a destination and enabled attractions such as W5 to enhance the visitor experience and engage with new audiences. The AMAZE experience at W5 is a fantastic addition to the visitor offering in Belfast, providing a unique way for visitors to learn about Northern Ireland’s land and legends and experience our story. We congratulate the team at W5 for their hard work in delivering this compelling new addition to the tourism product.”
The investment supplements the planned £4.5m investment in W5 to create eight brand new themed zones, scheduled to be completed by June 2020. £3m funding was awarded through the Inspiring Science Fund and a further £1.5m invested by the Odyssey Trust.
To find out more about 'AMAZE' click here
Sarah Dellar, Inspiring Science Fund Manager, Wellcome Trust; Catherine O’Mullan, Chair of W5 and Martin Graham, Tourism NI Regional Manager for Belfast at the launch of AMAZE.