People
Danny Burzlaff

The Metaverse offers the attractions world the incredible ability to transport and engage guests from anywhere in the world, redefining the meaning of footfall


The UNIT9 Group has launched a new division, Attractions by UNIT9, to partner with museums, cultural institutions and theme parks to explore the opportunities that come with advancements in AR, VR, XR, Web3, metaverse experiences, immersive theatre, gamification, world-building, avatar creation and high-craft 3D.

The venture is launched by Daniel Burzlaff, who previously worked at Universal Studios Florida and SeaWorld Orlando, and has helped design immersive content for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Beijing and the Roald Dahl Story Company UK.

Recent attractions projects by UNIT9 include immersive virtual art and gaming experience Unframed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; augmented reality app Moonshot at the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston; and the multisensory Bentley Centenary installation at the Bentley Visitor Centre.

The company is currently working on a new project with former client the Centre for World Culture based in Saudi Arabia, as well as an immersive cultural experience in Egypt.

Why is the visitor attraction market so exciting for UNIT9?
The visitor attractions market holds so many opportunities for exploration, education and adventure.

Audiences are ready for an elevated tech-led connection and we’re incredibly excited to be able to match that growing demand with interactive, engaging visitor experiences.

What trends are you seeing in the attractions market?
We’re seeing families becoming a lot more reliant on their children to direct entertainment and call the shots on experience decisions.

This influential younger cohort – Gen Alpha – are the first generation to grow up truly digitally native with tech savvy parents. Not only will they be expecting digital touches in every experience they engage with – they will be actively demanding it.

We expect to see tech becoming a more fluid, intuitive and seamlessly integrated aspect of the visitor experience. Especially AI systems and the personalised interactivity they facilitate, which will increasingly become the norm as the technical sophistication of audiences rises.

Are there any particularly innovative technologies shaping this market right now?
There are a few areas I’m pretty excited about right now. Hyper immersive activations – where guests are thrust into the adventure through interactive, customisable and shareable experiences imbued with cutting-edge technology, social interactions and a strong theme to tie it all together – are location-based entertainment gold dust. Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser Hotel is a prime example of this.

Along with those types of experiences, AI and AR are doing a huge amount to shape the market. AI continues to enhance the user journey with personalised storytelling, allowing the guest to essentially become the hero of their own adventure. And AR is fast becoming a critical component of the most engaging guest experiences – from a personal concierge to an innovative game mechanic or engaging educational device.

Why should attractions providers take notice of the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is the next iteration of the internet. It’s a platform that will pave the future of interactivity and engagement and will totally change the way we interact with the world.

The Metaverse offers the attractions world the incredible ability to transport and engage guests from anywhere in the world, redefining the meaning of footfall.

Not only that, it can also support a physical visit to an attraction, enhancing an environment with digital augmentations or by offering access to a virtual concierge system and allowing the guest to customise their visit, order food, purchase merchandise and enjoy a personalised tour. These new revenue streams not only offer lucrative profit opportunities, they also bring the potential to connect with new guests in new ways pre, during and post visit, extending the user journey and building loyalty among visitors.

What are you working on right now?
I can’t go into too much detail, but we have a very interesting project incorporating intuitive and fluid AI systems that respond to user input, curating specific entertainment and educational responses in real time so that guests can enjoy a personalised experience.

We’re also working on a multisensory immersive destination within a cultural park.

Bentley Visitor Centre Credit: Photo: UNIT9
Goodwood Credit: Photo: UNIT9
JFK Moonshot Credit: Photo: UNIT9
The Met Unframed – projects worked on by UNIT9 Credit: Photo: UNIT9
 


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13 Apr 2024 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
 
 
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SELECTED ISSUE
Attractions Management
2022 issue 2

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Leisure Management - Danny Burzlaff

People

Danny Burzlaff


The Metaverse offers the attractions world the incredible ability to transport and engage guests from anywhere in the world, redefining the meaning of footfall

Danny Burzlaff, head of attractions by UNIT9 Photo: UNIT9
Bentley Visitor Centre Photo: UNIT9
Goodwood Photo: UNIT9
JFK Moonshot Photo: UNIT9
The Met Unframed – projects worked on by UNIT9 Photo: UNIT9

The UNIT9 Group has launched a new division, Attractions by UNIT9, to partner with museums, cultural institutions and theme parks to explore the opportunities that come with advancements in AR, VR, XR, Web3, metaverse experiences, immersive theatre, gamification, world-building, avatar creation and high-craft 3D.

The venture is launched by Daniel Burzlaff, who previously worked at Universal Studios Florida and SeaWorld Orlando, and has helped design immersive content for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Beijing and the Roald Dahl Story Company UK.

Recent attractions projects by UNIT9 include immersive virtual art and gaming experience Unframed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; augmented reality app Moonshot at the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston; and the multisensory Bentley Centenary installation at the Bentley Visitor Centre.

The company is currently working on a new project with former client the Centre for World Culture based in Saudi Arabia, as well as an immersive cultural experience in Egypt.

Why is the visitor attraction market so exciting for UNIT9?
The visitor attractions market holds so many opportunities for exploration, education and adventure.

Audiences are ready for an elevated tech-led connection and we’re incredibly excited to be able to match that growing demand with interactive, engaging visitor experiences.

What trends are you seeing in the attractions market?
We’re seeing families becoming a lot more reliant on their children to direct entertainment and call the shots on experience decisions.

This influential younger cohort – Gen Alpha – are the first generation to grow up truly digitally native with tech savvy parents. Not only will they be expecting digital touches in every experience they engage with – they will be actively demanding it.

We expect to see tech becoming a more fluid, intuitive and seamlessly integrated aspect of the visitor experience. Especially AI systems and the personalised interactivity they facilitate, which will increasingly become the norm as the technical sophistication of audiences rises.

Are there any particularly innovative technologies shaping this market right now?
There are a few areas I’m pretty excited about right now. Hyper immersive activations – where guests are thrust into the adventure through interactive, customisable and shareable experiences imbued with cutting-edge technology, social interactions and a strong theme to tie it all together – are location-based entertainment gold dust. Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser Hotel is a prime example of this.

Along with those types of experiences, AI and AR are doing a huge amount to shape the market. AI continues to enhance the user journey with personalised storytelling, allowing the guest to essentially become the hero of their own adventure. And AR is fast becoming a critical component of the most engaging guest experiences – from a personal concierge to an innovative game mechanic or engaging educational device.

Why should attractions providers take notice of the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is the next iteration of the internet. It’s a platform that will pave the future of interactivity and engagement and will totally change the way we interact with the world.

The Metaverse offers the attractions world the incredible ability to transport and engage guests from anywhere in the world, redefining the meaning of footfall.

Not only that, it can also support a physical visit to an attraction, enhancing an environment with digital augmentations or by offering access to a virtual concierge system and allowing the guest to customise their visit, order food, purchase merchandise and enjoy a personalised tour. These new revenue streams not only offer lucrative profit opportunities, they also bring the potential to connect with new guests in new ways pre, during and post visit, extending the user journey and building loyalty among visitors.

What are you working on right now?
I can’t go into too much detail, but we have a very interesting project incorporating intuitive and fluid AI systems that respond to user input, curating specific entertainment and educational responses in real time so that guests can enjoy a personalised experience.

We’re also working on a multisensory immersive destination within a cultural park.


Originally published in Attractions Management 2022 issue 2

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