Urban XR

Introducing mixed reality headsets to create a digital rehearsal of offshore applications

Published 9 January 2024 Last updated 9 January 2024

Urban XR is developing a software application for mixed reality headsets tailored for the offshore wind industry. These headsets create a digital rehearsal for offshore applications that can be viewed in real time and allow teams to rehearse construction phases – removing costly mistakes and improving health and safety.


About Urban XR

Based in Norwich, Urban XR is an extended reality development and production studio focusing on the Built Environment sector. It mixes established architectural design and computer game software to create its products.

Urban XR’s latest venture is supporting offshore wind applications using mixed reality – merging the physical and computer-generated worlds – to create a digital rehearsal for offshore applications. Using headsets, individuals can see and interact in real-time while computer screens allow for larger teams.

This approach is called Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) and will allow project teams to plan, prepare, and practice a project’s construction phase as a type of live rehearsal. It comes from a military exercise technique where models and large maps are used to play out tactics and scenarios to prepare for real-life operation.

Project design and planning can often rely on assumptions. Using ROC offers a way for project teams to test these assumptions and fix problems before the project starts, allowing teams to be more prepared, reduce the risk of costly mistakes and increase health and safety.
Recognised in 2021 as one of the top 100 United Kingdom Creative Tech (CreaTech) companies to watch by the UK Creative Industries Council, Urban XR has customers that include local authorities, city planners, retail brands, museums, and the offshore wind industry.

The technology

Using ROC for offshore wind applications, teams can stimulate the installation of a wind farm using physical elements on a game area.

Project teams actively engage in cross-team challenges, where they tackle issues and problems posed by another team. This proactive approach enables the early mitigation of risks within the project process.

Inspired by witnessing the use of ROC in offshore windfarm planning and discussions with offshore wind contacts about the role of technology in the industry, Urban XR saw the potential to enhance the use of ROC in the industry through its technology.

Urban XR is combining the ROC process with gaming technology, using the latest spatial computing and physical design, combining physical and digital experiences allowing customers to interact with virtual images in the real world.

Support received by Launch Academy East of England

James Lee from Urban XR said: “We kept track of opportunities offered by ORE Catapult and were lucky enough to be chosen for Launch Academy East of England.

“With support from Launch Academy East of England, we will be exploring the market potential for an enhanced Rehearsal of Concept approach within the industry called ROC.AR. As an outsider to the industry, we will be using Launch Academy East of England experts to advise and help us develop the concept to a workable offer that can apply for funding.

“We would like to access industry contacts and get a clear picture of the market potential for our early-stage concept. This will allow us to better promote the concept for grant funding and investment going forward to develop a demonstrator product.”

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