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Meet Matt, Head of Sky Immersive

‘Creating world-firsts and solving problems is a big part of the job.’

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Matthew McCartney

Head of Sky Immersive, Osterley

Tech, Product & Data | 1 August 2023 | 6 mins

The core reason for my role, and the Immersive team, is to explore how we augment and enhance the content viewing experience via immersive technology.

This focuses on the use of Game Engine technology targeted at the next generation of consumer devices. Be that Virtual or Augmented reality (headset or mobile) and new Sky platforms like Sky Live. Our explorations and deliveries cover everything from Live Sports (Cricket, Premier League, Vitality Netball, Extreme-E) to Sky Cinema and Original Boxsets. Linear channels through to original content creation such as Looking at the Moon, Angel Eyes and IP based gamification.

Describe a project, or career highlight where you were able to make a difference. This could be for our customers, wider society, or the planet.

The launch of Sky Worlds in October 2020 was the culmination of two years work, and went live at a point when the country was in lockdown. While Premier League matches had resumed, they were all behind closed doors.

At the point of launch, we enabled Sky’s first full ‘co-viewing’ feature. This allowed four people, from a viewers friends and family, to connect within the fully immersive VR environment and enjoy live interactive sport together. That simply wasn’t possible in real life at the time.

It was fantastic to offer Sky customers the ability to enjoy live sports within a social setting, at a time when it was much needed.

At Sky we’re always challenging ourselves to deliver the next big thing. Describe what that’s like and why it’s exciting.

It is hard to define what the next big things is, especially when focusing within emerging tech. That is the most exciting part.

We’re able to work with new and advanced technology, such as Game Engine and performance capture (Motion or Volumetric Capture), understanding how to take multiple data sources and package those up as part of a consumable experience.

Often much of what we do in Sky Immersive has never been done. Creating ‘world firsts’ and solving problems is a big part of the job. As part of the Angel Eyes project, we needed to create an entirely new Game Engine workflow that allowed for the creation of individual 2D assets that could be feed into Unity for animation and presentation within a ‘panelled’ format in VR, but also beyond, generating a multi-format workflow.

The creative output from Angel Eyes is very exciting. From the underlying workflow points, to how we can use technology to create features and experiences that can be easily shared across platforms.

How is Sky an inclusive place to work where you can be yourself?

Throughout my time at Sky, I’ve been supported by fantastic managers and colleagues. Openness and collaboration is part of Sky’s DNA.

People within the organisation, no matter what level, are always open to spending time with others; to talk about what they do and seeing where they can support efforts to make Sky’s offerings better.

Learning about new technology and content creation methods is an intricate part of working in the Sky Immersive department. Everyone’s encouraged to indulge their curiosity and bring that into the various products and work streams.

Working a lot with live sports means having to have total flexibility across a working week. Within Sky Immersive we embrace the hybrid working pattern, but more than that we also have opportunities to be out on location with Sports production.

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