MONTRÉAL and TORONTO, Dec. 16, 2021 – UNLTD Inc. today announced that it has acquired the XR Technology Division of entertainment industry leader Shaftesbury. Shaftesbury is an innovation leader in immersive therapeutics for both Virtual and Augmented Reality applications. The acquisition of this exceptional team of XR innovators will accelerate UNLTD’s plan to build out its expanding business into the digital health sector.
“We’re very pleased to have the Shaftesbury XR team joining UNLTD. The use of immersive technologies in the digital health market, mental health in particular, is one of the fastest growing and most promising areas of digital therapeutics. The Shaftesbury team’s expertise in creating XR apps for positive distraction and immersive therapies is the perfect fit to UNLTD’s expertise in creating immersive experiences for the prevention of social stressors such as bullying as well as empathy and awareness apps for conditions such as autism,” said John Hamilton, CEO of UNLTD. “We are also very excited to have Shaftesbury as a significant new shareholder in UNLTD as well as Shaftesbury’s visionary President and Chairman Christina Jennings as a new board member.”
“I have always been impressed with John Hamilton and Sébastien Gros’ vision within the XR space, so I am delighted to be in business with UNLTD,” said Christina Jennings, President and Chairman, Shaftesbury. “I am very pleased to sit on the board and to see this homegrown partnership put Canada on the map in the XR realm of digital therapeutics.”
As part of the transaction Ted Biggs joins UNLTD as Chief Product Officer and Brianna Lowe as Director of Product Development and Production.
“Our joining forces with the Shaftesbury XR team will accelerate the development of our immersive digital therapeutics business which is proving to be one of the most viable and scalable market segments for immersive technology,” adds UNLTD CEO John Hamilton.
UNLTD CEO Hamilton believes that combining UNLTD and Shaftesbury’s equally impressive track records in the XR space, and both companies tremendous experience in entertainment, will contribute to building the leading Canadian XR content studio. The companies’ products are highly synergistic providing significant product scale in this market.
UNLTD is a world leading XR content studio with expertise in immersive learning, cinematic VR and branded VR and AR content. We currently offer the broadest experience of any XR studio in Canada. Creativity, innovation and storytelling are the foundations of our work. In the cinematic entertainment sector we produced the ground breaking Trinity VR sci-fi experience. UNLTD has also produced a wide range of virtual and augmented reality experiences for many corporate and non-profit clients. In branded content we have delivered experiences to top brands such as A&E, Universal Studios, L’Oréal, Fairmont Hotels, Bell Media, and Intercontinental Hotels. In immersive learning we have worked with large enterprise clients such as Exxon and CN Corporation. In the non-profit space UNLTD has produced several experiences targeting anti-bullying as well as autism empathy experiences.
Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 15 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, Acorn TV, and UKTV, four seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher, four seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Sports & Media, and three seasons of Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment, starring Emmy® Award-winner Archie Panjabi. Shaftesbury also has an extensive slate of kids and family programming including the global hit Life With Derek, as well as the upcoming series Ruby and the Well for BYUtv and WildBrain. Other kids programs include The Solutioneers, Miikshi, What the Stink?, and Emerald Code. Digital projects include the global phenomenon Carmilla (created through a branded partnership with U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark) and the queer sports comedy Slo Pitch, recently acquired by IFC for a second season.
About Shaftesbury Technology
Shaftesbury Technology combines award-winning storytelling with emerging technology to create innovative and immersive experiences to engage audiences. Shaftesbury has harnessed this technology to improve the quality of life for children with innovative tools that teach, heal and transform. Partnering with broadcasters, brands and healthcare institutions, our content delivers dynamically adaptive and interactive experiences for all screens. Shaftesbury Technology has developed a Positive Distraction Entertainment Experience product that combines all the most effective positive distraction techniques with an innovative approach to adaptive gameplay that adjusts to an individual’s response.
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