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3 Super-cool Innovations Going on in the City’s Most Exciting Tech Hub

· Joseph Sheerin · Discussion

The future is happening right now.

Cooperative Innovations, Bruntwood

On its mission to create innovation districts, Bruntwood SciTech has reinvented a Leeds landmark and transformed it into a hub for technology businesses. Platform is a focal point for the region's digital talent and a showcase for international investment. Find out more...

Forget the capital, these incredible innovations are happening right here in Leeds…

The technology industry is booming in Leeds and nowhere is that more evident than at Platform. It’s a state-of-the-art tech hub where ambitious businesses are given the tools they need to push boundaries and drive innovation. From revolutionising gaming to managing diabetes and powering hit TV show The Circle, it’s happening at Platform, so without further ado, let us introduce you to the companies that are doing it.

The digital platform that helps young people manage type-1 diabetes

Bruntwood's Platform

Credit: Ben Blackall

A type-1 diabetes diagnosis is life-changing. From managing your diet to checking your blood glucose levels, there’s so much you have to learn, but very little support to help you do it – which is why Rob and Maddie Julian created DigiBete. It’s a first-in-kind digital platform that brings together 180 patient-led films and articles to help you manage your diabetes.

As it predominantly affects young people, they’ve worked with the National Children’s Diabetes Network and the diabetes unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital to create the website. Not only does it have full clinical approval, but it’s now been translated into 99 languages and is used in over 100 countries around the world. They’re now working on a new app that will allow you to tailor their resources, so you can get the right information for you.

The proprietary technology that powers virtual reality experiences

Cooperative Innovations, Bruntwood

Immersive technologies are being developed right here in Leeds. Cooperative Innovations work at the cutting edge of virtual and augmented reality to create multiplayer games, experiences and applications. This is uncharted territory. Most of the technology they need to power these games doesn’t exist yet, so they’ve created it themselves, and they now license it to the wider industry.

They’re always looking for new and better ways to do things, not just in gaming, but also in other industries. In fact, they’ve used their proprietary animation technology to model new buildings, so architects can walk their clients around the space before it’s even built, and they’re working with a major car manufacturer to turn VR headsets into a tool to improve product design before their cars are mass-produced.

The interactive digital technology powering hit TV shows

Joi Polloi, Bruntwood

Credit: Big Blue Whale Photography

Have you seen The Circle? It’s one of Channel 4’s most popular reality TV shows – the contestants all live in the same apartment building in Salford, but never meet. Instead, they set up profiles on a bespoke social media service and communicate with each other remotely. The aim here is to make people like you because only the most popular constants are immune from elimination.

The platform that powers The Circle was custom-built by BAFTA-award winning creative technology agency Joi Polloi. Their app runs the contestant interface you see on the show, but it also includes the system the product team uses to rank and block people. This is their most high profile project yet, but they also manage the digital ecosystem for The Great British Bake Off, including everything from the application process to Your Bakes.