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UK Digital Minister stresses need for interoperability to ensure continued tech success

The British Digital Minister has praised the UK tech industry for its innovative and creative content but stressed that interoperability is key to continued success

By Joe Clark

Speaking at the Digital Catapult Immersive Lab Matt Hancock, Minister for Culture, Communications, and Creative Industries told of how the UK tech industry and the content it creates is integral to the growth of the digital economy.

The Minister said: “In the past Britain’s been famous for coming up with brilliant ideas and not turning them into commercial successes. It always seems to be that we do the patent and then somebody else comes and turns that into reality. Well no longer.”

The UK technology sector is currently worth over £100 billion and is growing at almost twice the rate as the rest of the economy. The last six months has also seen further commitment to the UK from Facebook, Snap, Amazon, and Google from the expansion of their businesses within the country.

MinisterHancock also stressed the need for industry wide standards in order to ensure the continued growth of the UK tech industry and said: “In terms of the development of standards around data, and around technologies like 5G. Standards are critical for interoperability in the development of tech and we in government do not want to be setting these standards ourselves but we do want to see them thrive.”

The continued competitive growth of the technology industry in both the British private and public sectors was attributed to it’s ability to create engaging and innovative content for emerging platforms. Particularly in regards to Virtual and Augmented reality technologies.

Hancock said: “VR and AR seem to be the easiest way to demonstrate that you are on the cutting end of digital technology. Wherever I go there seems to be a new VR or AR experience, or looking at future plans which is incredible.”

“This link between digital and creative capability is where Britain’s bread is going to be buttered in the 21st century.”

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The Ministers speech came after a tour of the Immersive Lab which included highlights such as a programme called Gravity Sketch which allows artists and designers to use VR technology to intuitively create advanced sketches, models and designs for concept drafts in both 2D and 3D. Similarly Virtalis is an application that allows CAD engineers to annotate and investigate complex CAD models with ease.

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In 2016 roughly £3 billion was invested into AR and VR hardware, mostly in the US and Asia, which shows that the market potential for these technologies is enormous.

The Minister finished by saying “It is vital in making sure we can succeed economically and so we can spread the benefits of having a cutting edge digital economy.”

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