Mixed Reality Laboratory

Mixed Reality Laboratory

The Mixed Reality Laboratory (MRL) was first established in 1999, and is an interdisciplinary group exploring the potential of ubiquitous, mobile and interactive technologies to shape everyday life.

The MRL Research Group was at the forefront of establishing the £18.3M Horizon Digital Economy Institute and Horizon Doctoral Training Centre, and remains deeply involved in both.

It has a current grant portfolio exceeding £10m, including several major EPSRC awards, an AHRC grant and two active European Commission FP7 ICT projects.

Mixed Reality Lab


Key aims and expertise

The Mixed Reality Laboratory (MRL) creates interactive technologies to enhance everyday life. Our research is grounded in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. We combine an interdisciplinary approach (linking to the Social Sciences and Humanities) with an intra-disciplinary approach (with areas such as Distributed Systems, AI, Vision and Formal Methods) to enable an end-to-end methodology in which we both develop novel digital technologies, but also deploy and understand them ‘in the wild’.
Our focus on everyday life extends beyond the workplace to encompass technologies for the home, the workplace and for culture and entertainment.

Research activity has had direct impact on society through:

  • public engagement – via staging a series of high profile public events that have directly engaged thousands of participants, whilst indirectly reaching millions more through associated national and international media coverage
  • the development of new interfaces for entertainment
  • research collaborations with art collectives and creative industries
  • users and industrial beneficiaries of global human-computer interaction research who use it to advance their products.

The Mixed Reality Lab has collaborated with and received research funding from a variety of industrial partners including:

  • BBC
  • Google
  • Microsoft Research
  • Unilever
  • BAE
  • GE Aviation
  • Nokia
  • BT
  • Nokia
  • Sony
  • Scottish Power

Current projects

  1. ORCHID: Human-Agent Collectives – From Foundations to Applications
  2. Multiscale Modelling to Maximise Demand Side Management (DESIMAX)
  3. Cultural Heritage Experiences through Socio-personal Interactions and Storytelling (CHESS)

See all current research projects.

Significant results

The group has an outstanding track record at ACM SIGCHI, the premier international conference on human-computer interaction, with 23 full papers including 6 best paper awards since 2008, and election of Professor Tom Rodden and Professor Steve Benford to the CHI Academy.

Together with the Horizon Digital Economy Institute, the MRL has been involved in extensive public engagement, staging a series of high profile public events around Thrill Technologies and Pervasive Games research, directly engaging thousands of participants while indirectly reaching millions more through media coverage.

Research leaders

View all group members

Related research

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Related links

Jubilee Campus: maps and directions



Mixed Reality Laboratory

The University of Nottingham
School of Computer Science
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6780