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Project to explore 5G connected ‘extended reality’ worlds

Posted on 22 April 2021

The University of York has teamed up with entertainment giant WarnerMedia to explore how the UK's creative industries can make the most of 5G technologies.

XR technologies allows media companies to blend virtual and physical worlds

The collaboration will set up a vision for how the future of the media and entertainment industries, as powered by 5G technologies, can create innovative extended reality (XR) productions. 

The project, part of XR Stories programme, includes two companies Prox & Reverie, a Yorkshire-based media content production company, and, makers of digital products for media companies.  

The collaboration will see the companies tasked with testing and creating prototypes for stories and technologies that are capable of connecting real and fictional interactive worlds that place audiences inside television episodes so that they become part of the story and capable of changing the narrative.  

Future of XR stories

Professor Damian Murphy, from the University of York’s Department of Electronic Engineering and XR Stories Director, said: “We are particularly excited to see the prototypes that will emerge, how they are received by their audiences, and what we can learn from them to help shape future XR Stories research and development opportunities here at the University.” 

XR technologies allows media companies to blend virtual and physical worlds together using augmented reality and mixed reality, allowing the user to step inside production environments, interact with the characters, take part in the story, change narratives and story endings.


Martin Taylor, Director of Prox & Reverie, said: “The dividing border between real and fictional worlds is slowly falling away thanks to immersive technologies and the power of 5G. 

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with WarnerMedia on this journey and to work with XR Stories in further cementing Yorkshire as a centre for immersive innovation.” 

The project is part of an £80 million Creative Industries Clusters Programme, funded by the Industry Strategy and delivered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council on behalf of UKRI.  It consists of nine partnerships led by universities across the UK.  

Inside stories

Guy Gadney, Co-founder and CEO of, said: “The creative use of AI to place audiences inside stories, talking to the characters they love, is the unique experience that provides for the TV industry, and we look forward to taking great steps forward with WarnerMedia in the coming months.” 

The aim of the Creative Clusters programme is to accelerate growth in a range of creative sectors, create jobs and drive the creation of companies, products and media experiences for audiences globally.  

The partnership with WarnerMedia will see projects delivered later this year.

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