Here East Innovation Campus Launches Digital Twin

Here East’s digital twin leverages the latest game engine technology to allow people from across the globe to virtually visit the East London campus in real-time.

Here East, a 1.2 million-square-foot innovation campus located in East London, now has a virtual twin. Working with digital design specialists Squint Opera, Here East has taken a pioneering step into the virtual world as one of the first to introduce virtual twin technology.

Located on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, Here East is a launchpad for innovation and home to global technology companies, start-ups, academic institutions, content developers and creative businesses. Now home to 6,000 people who work and study onsite, Here East is London’s fastest growing technology and innovation campus. It is home to three of London’s fastest growing industry clusters: esports, cybersecurity, and the creative industries. There are currently 37 organizations based on the campus, including: Plexal (Here East’s innovation and consulting center), Fiit, Sports Interactive, Esports Engine, Ford Smart Mobility, Studio Wayne McGregor, MATCHESFASHION, and The Trampery on the Gantry, which provides 21 low-cost studios for creative businesses and artists.

Digital Twin
Aerial Image of Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East London. (Credit: Jason Hawkes)

“We are delighted to have partnered with Squint Opera to take this transformative step and develop our virtual twin. The ability to replicate our vibrant campus in a virtual forum and show people from all over the world our site, whilst having real-time conversations with them, is really unique,” commented Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East.

“This is an exciting step for us. We continue to experiment with the twin in this phase of research and development, and we look forward to being able to open up our East London home in due course,” he continued. “We will be able to showcase the collaborative environment we have cultivated and fostered over the last decade to new audiences globally.”

Here East’s virtual twin is a replica of the campus in the online world. Leveraging software including Epic’s Unreal Engine 5, Squint Opera has created an immersive 3D replica of the Here East campus, which allows people from all over the globe to visit the campus remotely, in real-time. Initially, the twin is being used as an R&D tool to test emergent use cases. It will eventually allow visitors to explore the campus on their own, immersing them in a fun, engaging and informative way.

With 94% of its one-million-square-foot site already leased, Here East’s virtual twin’s communication capabilities offer a practical solution to promote the innovative campus globally, paving the way for future expansion.

By integrating existing data with on-site captured elements – like photographs, recorded sounds, animated components and dynamic natural lighting – Squint Opera created a finely detailed replica of the campus, crafting a vibrant and engaging experience.

The platform is powered by SpaceForm, which specializes in enterprise metaverse experiences for the built environment, allowing potential tenants, investors and communities to experience the campus without leaving their computers. The detailed insights it provides expedite decision-making processes far beyond what traditional architectural communication tools can offer.

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“Squint Opera devised a true-to-life virtual facsimile of Here East to powerfully communicate this innovative space to a wide and varied audience. Our Virtual Twin uses Spaceform to connect and immerse people in this virtual twin, no matter where they are,” said Alice Britton, Founding Director, Squint/Opera.

“The capability of our virtual twin to create a genuinely immersive environment for meetings enables our client to present every aspect of their project to potential tenants, investors, and communities in real-time,” she added. “Here East has innovation at its heart, and together we’ve created a product that really reflects that.”

With its virtual twin, Here East will inhabit a new unique space – expanding its one-million-square-foot site into a limitless and internationally accessible realm.

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