The University of Nottingham is a public research university in the city of Nottingham, England, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The university was founded in 1881 and is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings, and the 2008 RAE found 60 per cent of Nottingham's research to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
The Mixed Reality Lab (MRL) is based at the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, one of the leading research schools in the UK. The MRL is a dedicated studio facility where computer scientists, psychologists, sociologists, engineers, architects and artists collaborate to explore the potential of ubiquitous, mobile and mixed reality technologies to shape everyday life.
The MRL was first established in 1999 with £1.2M funding under the JREI programme and its facilities were updated in 2005 through a further £1M under SRIF 2. The laboratory is currently home to over fifty academics, research associates and PhD students who are undertaking a wide ranging programme of research into mixed reality and its applications. Between 2000 and 2007, the MRL was the lead partner in EPSRC's Equator IRC, a £10M, eight partner initiative exploring the interweaving of physical and digital interaction for everyday life. Currently the MRL is a core partner in Nottingham’s new Horizon centre for Digital Economy Research, a £40M initiative to explore the potential of ubiquitous computing to transform the digital economy, especially the creative industries. Horizon includes over 35 industry partners, from small creative companies to major international corporations and supports a transformation programme to promote the commercial uptake of its research. Horizon includes a Doctoral Training Centre that will train 100 PhD students in this area over the next 9 years and who will be available to work alongside collaborative projects.
The MRL has also extensively participated in European research. It has been a core participant of the highly innovative i3 programme in Framework IV Long Term Research, where it was a member of the eRENA project and leader of the KidStory project. It has been at the heart of the Framework V Disappearing Computer initiative as a member of the Shape, Accord and Mime projects. More recently the MRL has participated in the IST Sixth Framework Programme through iPerG (Integrated Project on Pervasive Gaming) and INSCAPE (Integrated Project on Interactive Storytelling for Creative People).
The MRLs ability to undertake creative foundational research into new techniques is demonstrated by publications in leading international sources including Communications of the ACM, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, SIGGRAPH, Multimedia, Ubicomp, VR, CSCW, and by over 20 full papers at the ACM SIGGCHI conference. At the same time, the MRL has achieved success in engaging with industry, external bodies and the public to demonstrate applications of these techniques, and has been nominated for key awards in the entertainment sector including winning the coveted 2003 Prix Ars Electronica for Interactive Art, the 2007 Nokia Mindtrek award for innovative applications of ubiquitous computing and four UK BAFTA nominations.