The implementation of the mixed reality Submergence technology as a complimentary therapeutic mental healthcare solution

Squidsoup’s Mixed Reality technology Submergence, is an exploration of penetrable volumes of light, created using hundreds of strands of individually addressable LEDs to map volumetric 3D virtual architectures into a shared physical environment. It inhabits the borderlands between reality and virtuality creating an immersive space neither fully real nor digital. By sequentially turning lights on and off, movement and presence can be suggested. With higher resolutions, brightness and hue control and increased scale, form can emerge, shadows can be cast, the volumes of light can be walked inside and one’s entire sense of space and place can become transformed.

Submergence is a robust tried and tested technology that has been developed over the course of 10 years, it has been experienced by millions of people all over the world from galleries to festivals. This study explores the potential of Submergence as a complementary therapeutic mental healthcare solution to help benefit and improve health and wellbeing in a NHS settings.

Two Submergence installations have been trialed at the Oncology unit in Cheltenham and the Children’s Centre in Gloucester, testing aspects of the feasibility including the planning and process of installing mixed reality experiences in clinical locations in an acute hospital setting and the impressions and experiences of staff, patients, carers, and the public who took part in the study.

This study shares feedback from staff, patients, carers, and members of the public from targeted community groups that describes their experiences using the Submergence installations. Plus the hurdles and challenges of working within a healthcare setting.

Nexts steps include further product design for clinical settings, a biometric study into levels of anxiety and the benefits of the technology, followed by deployment of Submergence experiences across the country.


Hannah Brady

Lead organisation



Bespoke hardware designed, manufactured and assembled by Squidsoup.


Creative Directors
Anthony Rowe
Liam Birtles
Head of Production
Dan Pearson
Executive Producer
Hannah Brady
Studio Manager
Megan Spencer
Production and Content Technician
Rory Thomas-Lawton
Warehouse and Production Assistant
Michelle Leck
Assistant Producer
Seren Birtles