Eye See Ai App Launch

Eye See Ai: Hijinx Launch Augmented Reality App as Part of International Research & Development Project 

Inclusive theatre company Hijinx have been working on an innovative research and development project, in partnership with Vietnamese companies Mắt Trần Ensemble, Tòhe and VTT. The project, called Eye See Ai, has seen the companies collaborating in the creation of six short digital performances featuring learning disabled and/or Autistic artists, which can now be experienced as augmented reality through a specially developed smart-phone app. This is a new frontier for the team, who have been experimenting with the technology for the past 2 years and look forward to sharing the results with audiences in Hanoi and Cardiff. Eye See Ai has been supported by the British Council’s Digital Collaboration Fund, and is available for audiences to discover from 5 November.  

Who is involved? 

Hijinx are one of Europe’s leading inclusive theatre companies, creating outstanding performances with learning disabled and/or autistic artists on stage and on screen. Vietnamese collaborators Mắt Trần Ensemble are a group of Vietnamese puppeteers, pursuing a vision of inclusive performing arts, connecting people and bringing art closer to marginalised communities. Tòhe, a social enterprise with the mission of creating creative playgrounds for disadvantaged children, support young autistic artists to learn and develop through a variety of educational and visual art activities. Technical partners VTT, who have built the Eye See Ai app, provide AR technology to create authentic experiences in familiar spaces.  

More about the project: 

Eye See Ai is a research project, aiming to allow exciting cultural exchanges as audiences are given the opportunity to explore Hanoi and Cardiff using augmented reality technology. The app features six short performances, three to be discovered in each city, inspired by chosen landmarks. Hijinx actors Victoria Walters, Becky King and Gareth John will be transported to three landmarks in Hanoi, whilst performers from Mắt Trần will be visible at three locations in Cardiff’s city centre. These movement and puppetry performances were devised by Hijinx facilitators and actors, alongside Mat Tran puppeteers and participants. BAFTA Cymru award-winning composer Tic Ashfield and Vietnamese composer Nguyễn Hồng Nhung (also known as Sound Awakener) have created unique soundtracks to accompany the performances.  

Once you have downloaded the app, the performances are triggered by aiming your smartphone at the different landmarks in the respective cities. In Cardiff, these locations are Clwb Ifor Bach, the Lion on the Animal Wall by Cardiff Castle, and the wooden frame by the Gorsedd Stone Circle in Bute Park. These specially chosen locations become the stage for the performances. 

Eye See Ai has been made possible through funding from the British Council’s Digital Collaboration Fund, which supports UK and overseas cultural partnerships to develop digitally innovative ways of working together, a funding stream offered when the pandemic halted in-person collaboration.  

To use the app:  

  • Download the app from your phone’s app store. 
  • In Cardiff, head to the city centre, making sure you’ve got your headphones with you. 
  • When the app is opened, you will be prompted to select a performance. If you’re at Clwb Ifor Bach, hold your phone up over the Eye See Ai ‘eye’ symbol on the outside of the building. At the Lion on the Animal Wall, hold up your phone so that it corresponds with the shape of the Lion, and at the frame in Bute Park, hold up your phone so that it aligns with the shape of the frame. 
  • Put your headphones on and watch as the performances begin before you.  

As the project is an R&D the app still has elements that can glitch, but VTT have provided a summary of common issues and how they can be resolved, which can be found on the Hijinx website. Home - Hijinx - Theatre - Film - Training - Community - Inclusive - Wales 

Download the Eye See Ai app here: Eye See Ai - Hijinx 

ENDS  

For further press information, images, to arrange an interview, please contact Caitlin Rickard: caitlin.rickard@hijinx.org.uk | 029 2030 0331