In an age where uncertainty and change are slowing progress in many industries, it’s refreshing to see the UK’s technology sector showing strong signs of growth. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of software publishing businesses in the country has risen by 45% in the last five years, with over 2,500 active companies operating in 2018.
The UK government has identified immersive entertainment as an area of modern software that it is going to particularly focus on in the coming years. At the start of the 2019, a total of £18 million was handed out in grants to companies working on the development of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, signalling the nation’s intent to become a sector leader.
UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, told Gov.uk at the time:
“Through investments such as the projects announced today, government and UK Research and Innovation will support the creative industries to innovate in exciting ways that will deliver new experiences for audiences of the future, with accompanying economic benefits.”
One company capitalising on this surge in interest in such technologies is nomtek, the mobile application development agency. Named one of the top UX and iPhone app developers by Clutch in 2018, the company is one of the early access development partners with Magic Leap, a pioneering augmented reality start-up.
Magic Leap produces the ground-breaking Magic Leap One goggles, which enable users to view immersive digital content to their real-world surroundings. nomtech was tasked with creating an app which helped to bring out the best of the advanced technology. The result was a unique mixed-reality game of squash, with players hitting a digital ball against walls and surfaces in their actual environment, guided by authentic laws of physics.
nomtek’s work with Magic Leap is one example of the potential of augmented reality and with the UK government seemingly heavily invested in pursuing the area, more software agencies will be looking to bring the technology to the consumer market.
Giant leap for email marketing
With email inboxes across the country drowning in company marketing messages, it takes something truly creative and unique to stand out. Enter Hopper Video, a new software platform helping brands to connect with customers on a whole different level.
Hopper Video creates aesthetically-beautiful emails for their clients, this includes videos which are significantly personalised for each recipient. They edit existing footage, whether animated or filmed, and add in sections which can change for each viewer. These varying details can be in the form of text, images or audio, and link to personalised commercial content.
The company says that their software can result in up to five times more people engaging with a marketing email. With so many businesses using email as a way of outreaching to their client base, Hopper Video’s services are likely to be high in demand.
Drilling into data
While traditional energy sources, such as oil and gas appear to be on the way out, they’re still going to be major industry players for the foreseeable future. As such, companies are still striving to innovate and revolutionise the sector.
Sensalytx is one such company. The data analytics and visualisation firm has recently secured a trial with an independent operator in the North Sea, meaning their software, Q-DOS, will be used to monitor the data from fibre optic downhole sensing systems. Q-DOS consistently and thoroughly analyses information, such as oil well acoustics and temperature, before relaying its findings back to a human team, who can then use the data to maximise productivity. As the system uses artificial intelligence, the software will improve other time, learning from each process.
The use of data and analytics in business isn’t new, but companies are continually innovating with software to maximise its potential, incorporating information in increasingly creative and exciting ways.
As mentioned, the government is enthusiastically pushing the development of new technologies and wants the UK to lead the way when it comes to software. To encourage progress, it offers R&D tax credits to those investing in innovation, with the UK IT sector claiming over half a billion pounds in 2018*. If your company is looking to innovate, you can find out more about this initiative by reading our guidance on the Patent Box scheme.
*Source: HMRC R&D Tax Credit statistics 2018