Last week we supported the launch of our first ever start-up venture.
After a lot of hard work from our team, as well as the other individuals and businesses involved, we can now say ‘hello’ to Sibro.
What is Sibro?
Sibro provides synchronised virtual reality (VR) shared experiences and gives people an interactive and immersive VR 360 tour experience.
In its first instance, the Sibro platform has debuted as a classroom support tool helping to deliver educational content. The first project provides 360 video experiences educating people about the First World War and the Battle of the Somme.
The synchronised content distribution system will allow the classroom to be taken over by a VR experience which is managed by one device controlling the content on all of the headsets in the classroom.
Photo Credit: Matt Thomas
The content itself has been curated and presented by BBC First World War historian Peter Barton, with support from fellow historian Jeremy Banning. Peter is the only person in the world who has undertaken research within the German archives, meaning pupils will have access to unique, previously unwritten content.
Our part of Sibro was building the VR delivery platform. We built a native Android app for the SibroVR delivery platform using Unity, a 2D and 3D game engine which is optimised for multiple platforms and devices. Being a popular choice for a number of VR games and projects, we knew that Unity would have the capacity to allow us to create the delivery platform on the scale we wanted to.
The backbone of this software is built on a PHP Symfony API that talks to the Unity application, with a frontend administration app created using Ember.
As well as our part in creating the Sibro platform itself, we have also invested in Sibro to help the business start-up, alongside a private investor.
Sibro: A Liverpool Collaboration
One of the great things about Sibro is the fact that it has come about as a result of the hard work of a number of fantastic Liverpool-based businesses.
Sibro was born out of an idea from battlefield tours company Esprit, who wanted to offer schools more than just the traditional field trip to the Somme. Sibro’s founder Gareth Abbott, who is also managing director of Esprit, has been instrumental in getting Sibro up and running.
As well as this, Sibro commissioned Mocha and IronBird, who are also both based in Liverpool, to produce the first round of content, whilst Liverpool-based creative agency Liquid have produced the Sibro brand.
It’s been great for us to work with so many talented Liverpool-based businesses to produce something that could potentially change education as we know it today.
We launched Sibro at an event at St George’s Hall, with around 200 people attending.
The showcase gave people chance to find out more about Sibro – hearing insights from both Gareth and Peter about the story behind Sibro and why the content is still so relevant today.
We ran a demo at the event, which gave attendees the chance to try out the SibroVR synchronised experience for themselves.
Sibro went down really well and it was great to be able to share the tech that we have built with so many people.
It’s been an epic journey working with the Sibro founders and content delivery partners to get Sibro off the ground. We have some amazing content that will change the way that history lessons are delivered in the classroom. And we have a unique VR 360 video synchronised content distribution platform where we can put multiple users into a single shared experience, which can be adaptable for a number of purposes – from education to group training.
Interest in Sibro is growing following our recent appearance on BBC News & BBC Breakfast, and it’s now up to the Sibro team, supported by Mashbo and content producers Mocha and Ironbird, to grow the business – with continued investment into applications development and content production.
Sibro’s current plans going forward are to focus on educational based experience whilst exploring new opportunities in healthcare and training.