Plymouth's Tech Firm Is Leading The Way In XR

Plymouth's Tech Firm Is Leading The Way In XR
January 22, 2019
Russ Lidstone, chief executive of The Moment (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)


The Moment is leading the way in AR, VR, digital and movie technology - and growing rapidly.


A multi-million pound Plymouth company is creating jobs by developing groundbreaking technology which is even ahead of what competitors can do in the USA’s famous Silicon Valley – and doing it from a “cool place” to work.


The Moment is a film, digital, immersive and learning agency, based in Estover, and one of the largest divisions of The Creative Engagement Group (TCEG).


In fact, it sees the Plymouth office is the “jewel in the crown” for its ability to service global clients with top talent.


The Moment’s workforce has a unique, world-class combination of skills in moving image, interactive and immersive content, working for blue chip clients in consumer marketing, employee engagement and learning and training.


And it revealed some of the exciting projects it has been working on – including cutting-edge augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality and film and digital kit – to special guests from Plymouth’s business world at an open evening at its Bush Park nerve centre.


The Moment has 80 staff in Plymouth, another 220 in Manchester, Buckinghamshire and London, and 50 in Philadelphia, where the firm is now providing services for clients that can’t even be sourced in Silicon Valley, California.


The firm delivers thousands of creative projects a year, including 4,500 hours of film, 500,000 lines of code plus hundreds of consumer and employee engagement campaigns.


Among clients are the BBC, Carnival (world’s largest cruise ship operator) and HSBC, and others in the engineering, medical and defence industries.

Using VR at The Moment (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)


And the firm is growing, particularly as its AR and VR innovations become more sought after by educational and business organisations wanting to train workers to the highest standard.


“We’ve gone through double digit growth are up 18% in head count,” said Russ Lidstone, group chief executive. “And we are still in the growth area. Plymouth continues to be a central part of our growth plans. And we have ambitions to grow and fill more space here.


“We are delivering cutting edge solutions to national blue chip companies,” he added. “And the team here in Plymouth also services our US operation.


“It’s a cost effective solution to service our US market and a real growth engine for us. So we are taking Plymouth to the world.


“And this office is a strong tech hub and a cultural centre – it’s a cool place.”

You can have an augmented reality pet thanks to The Moment (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)
AR technology developed at The Moment in Plymouth (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)


Mr Lidstone said the firm has recruited from, and has strong links with, the universities in Plymouth and Falmouth. And it is attracting talent to the city as well.


“We’ve people that don’t want to live in London,” he said. “They want a better quality of life. They want to come here.”


And he stressed there are opportunities in Plymouth – even for non-graduates.


“You don’t even need a degree to come into our business,” Mr Lidstone said. “That’s because our work is about thinking about problems. We have people with maths backgrounds, but others have taught themselves to code.


"And for film-makers, we have people that taught themselves to produce, direct or animate.”

The Moment is seen as a 'cool' place to work (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)
A board room with a difference at The Moment's Plymouth nerve centre (Image: Penny Cross / Plymouth Live)


The Moment originated in Plymouth 25 years ago, as part of the TwoFour TV production company. When the broadcast part was sold to ITV, The Moment started on its own separate journey.


TCEG is now three years old and an “unusually shaped marketing communications group providing interestingly shaped solutions” .


The group is made up of four brands which also includes WRG (live events and environments); Just Communicate (healthcare exhibitions) and Axiom (healthcare and scientific engagement and training).

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