The Mixed Reality Lab (MXR)aims to push the boundaries of research into interactive new media technologies through the combination of technology, art, and creativity.
The key objectives of the Mixed Reality Lab are to create a world centre of excellence for interactive media and entertainment technology, to provide multi-disciplinary project-based learning environment for students, to modify creative media technology to promote economic development and to open new doors for creativity and artistic students. MXR Lab was founded in NUS Singapore, and was moved to Keio University Japan, and currently based in City University London.
In keeping with the above objectives, MXR Lab has made technological advancements that have the potential to unlock the power of human intelligence, link minds globally, accelerate learning, and enhance creativity. The Lab hopes to supply technological knowledge that will be at the digital heart of many of Singapore’s emerging sectors including Digital Exchange, Digital Entertainment and Digital Media, Digital Culture as well as adding value to Biomedical and Biotechnology initiatives.
MXR defines entertainment media as entertainment products and services that rely upon digital technology. These include traditional media that now use digital production processes such as movies, TV, computer animation, and music, as well as emerging services for wireless and broadband, electronic toys, video games, edutainment, and location-based entertainment (ranging from PC game rooms to theme parks). The lab has produced large scale technological deliverables for DSTA and the Singapore military in interactive human computer systems and has spun off companies such as Real Space, Brooklyn-Media, and MXR Corporation.
In the last few years, the lab has received many local and international awards such as the Nokia Ubimedia MindTrek Award in 2008, the Young Global Leader 2008 from World Ecomomic Forum and the Creativity of Warm award from 8th International University Creative-in-Action Contest 2007. Additionally, the lab has also been invited to major media technology-art centers, such the Ars Electronica Museum of the Future in Austria.
The Lab plans on exploring commercially creative new media art works which will assist in development of blue-sky explorations and cultural exuberance for Singapore and creating human technology which involves the development of new interfaces to make machines more natural, intuitive and easy to use. The lab aims to bring about this vision and bring the future of new media into reality.
Thus, one of the main goals of the lab is to invent the future through the visualization and realization of new media ideas. This continues the tradition established at Xerox PARC, Disney Imagineering and the MIT Media Lab and by visionary individuals such as Douglas Englebart, Alan Kay, Brendan Laurel and Jaron Lanier.
The work done in the lab can be termed “Imagineering”, or the imaginative application of engineering sciences. Imagineering involves three main strands of work. Firstly, imaginative envisioning: the projections and viewpoints of artists and designers. Secondly, future-casting: extrapolation of recent and present technological developments, making imaginative but credible (“do-able”) scenarios, and simulating the future and thirdly creative engineering: new product design, prototyping, and demonstration work of engineers, computer scientists, and designers.