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ISDI Trains Spotlight On Immersive Media With ICIM

With an eye on evolving tech & its impact, Indian School of Design & Innovation is launching Indian Centre for Immersive Media; launch coincides with annual event EyeMyth Festival

As emerging technology catches up with the power of human imagination and expression, immersive media is emerging as a global disruptive force on socio-cultural equity, economic growth and intellectual transformation.

The ISDI Mumbai (Indian School of Design & Innovation) is all set to launch the Indian Centre for Immersive Media (ICIM). The move is aimed to serve as an early response to the need to reclaim and advance Indian identity in the global immersive media landscape. As the curtain raiser for the launch of ICIM, ISDI in collaboration with UnBox is presenting the EyeMyth Festival 2017 that kicks off on August 16, 2017.

Created in partnership with Unbox Cultural Futures Society, an experiential platform for creative practice, the ICIM seeks to catalyse the opportunity with a program of research, experimentation and incubation - setting a promising stage for Indian creators and visionaries to re-interpret the persistent plurality of their culture. The growth of immersive in the overall media background is driven due to the rise in experiential, with the element of sensory engagement. Tech such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) come in play here – each becoming critical for companies and platforms to be future ready.

“ISDI has a core mission of enabling human capital through up-skilling, and the ISDI ICIM will firmly cement the vision of Make in India in new and diverse spaces by creating a new class of digitally enabled, highly skilled workforce that shall be available to service Indian and global needs in emerging new media fields, with applications across education tech, mediated realities, ubiquitous computing, augmented reality (AR), digital performance, cultural heritage and future entertainment,” said Siddharth Shahani, Co-Founder and Executive Director, ISDI.

Eyes On Immersive

For ISDI, the move to enter immersive media comes from its roots of focussing on what it dubs as DICE - Design & Innovation led Creative Entrepreneurship. The DICE approach has allowed it to augment its core academic program with a strong suite of forward looking industry partnerships, that enable it to go long on technologies and trends it believes will play a fundamental role in shaping the design, media and business landscape of tomorrow.

The approach is based on the core tenet that design and innovation methodologies can be deployed to enrich all business, a significant departure from traditional viewpoints, which placed design as an afterthought and innovation as an accident. It places design at the core of the product development process, and innovation as a thoughtful practice and process that can be adopted by companies to enable them to succeed.

“Being disruptive and futuristic is an essential part of the DICE DNA. There are many technologies that will shape the world of tomorrow –IoT, machine learning, AI and immersive technologies including AR, VR and mixed reality (MR). These technologies are changing the fabric of our existence as we know it today and it becomes crucial for us to embrace this change at the outset,” explains, Radha Kapoor Khanna, Founder - DICE Ecosystem, adding, “It is with this perspective that we are launching the Indian Centre for Immersive Media (ICIM) as part of the DICE ecosystem.”

The ICIM is a tangible implementation of the DICE strategy of investing in emerging technologies and market forces of tomorrow through industry driven centres of excellence in emergent fields.

The Five-Fold ICIM Mission

The immersive media opportunities in India will be visible not only in the broader economic and sociocultural perspective, but will also create impact in livelihood opportunities and on entrepreneurship. It will also make a decisive difference to the creative industry.

“Humanity has always sought experiences, and ways of relating them. We have deployed the technology of the day to do exactly this. We evolved from verbal storytelling to audio and visual performances to the written word. Every new technology along the way opened doors for entirely new ways to convey experiences. Such inflection points are often the locus of explosive action, exploration and innovation. We are poised at one such point – the mass adoption of design and design thinking as not just a way to approach products, but to approach services, experiences and business itself,” explains Upasana Mukherjee, Managing Director, Design and Innovation Platform, DICE.

ISDI’s mission with ICIM, is hence, fivefold. It aims to catalyse Indian creativity and storytelling by incubating best-in-class Indian immersive media. It will deliver authentic perspectives on the future of immersive media. It looks to prepare Indian workforce for the next generation of livelihood, which is creative and technical skilling of an entirely new category of knowledge workers. Its objective is also to make technology advancements meaningful for people and create a global network for interdisciplinary collaborations.

“ICIM will work to integrate innovative means of experience generation in new and old realms. It will be a place where the marriage of academia can occur with real world applications and business cases, where practitioners such as tech innovators, traditional and new media operators, music makers and story tellers, will all come together to collectively probe the boundaries we currently operate in and work towards gently pushing them outwards to create a larger stage for our collective human experience,” added Mukherjee.

A Big Ticket Launch

“The ISDI ICIM is a response to the critical need to reclaim and advance Indian identity in the face of a globalised, technology centric media discourse: one that is uniquely differentiated in its intent, philosophy and outcomes. As emerging technologies are catching up with the power of human imagination and expression, Immersive media is emerging as a key influencer on the socio cultural equity, economic growth and intellectual transformation of any country,” said Avinash Kumar, Program Lead, ICIM and Founder Unbox.

In order to create the right awareness around ICIM, the first key step will be seen at this year’s EyeMyth Festival 2017.

EyeMyth was created in the Indian digital sub-culture scene in 2011, where it started as a celebration of ‘Visual Music’ at the UnBox Festival in Delhi. Today, it has grown into a media arts festival, bringing together Indian and global artists and progressive media.

The last edition of EyeMyth saw a host of performances, installations and screenings under the theme of ‘Medium as Somatic Impulse’. The theme for this year’s Festival is ‘Future as Fiction’. It encapsulates the worlds of VR, AR and media futures.

This year the Festival will include everything from augmented public art to virtual reality workshops, AR/ VR film screenings to audiovisual music acts and gigs and a conference on the future of immersive media and mediated realities in India.




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