We’re hiring a C++ Engineer in Edinburgh!

We’re an easy-going consultancy with five people and a dog, who do all sorts of stuff for arts and education. We’ve partnered with the OCR exam board and we’ve been awarded funding from InnovateUK as part of the Touchable Universe consortium to develop touchable lessons for high school students. It’s virtual reality for your hands, using force feedback 3D controllers and 3D visuals to make it feel like you’re really touching an object. We’re going to make two applications and one developer offering in the next year, and the applications are going to be trialled in schools. We’re going to need another engineer to get everything done!

We’re looking for someone who likes to hack on new technologies, who’s got a year’s industrial experience or a strong portfolio they can show us, who knows what a smart pointer is, and has a good idea how to structure their code in an engineering environment (encapsulation, patterns, all that jazz). You’ll also be working on 3D force feedback devices, OpenGL/OGRE, embedding scripting languages, cross-platform development, and other stuff we’ll make up as we go along. You’re not expected to know everything right away, but any experience in 3D graphics would be a plus. You will be working in an agile team with two other experienced engineers and a project manager, using a codebase that is already in use in a production haptic application. We encourage all staff to share knowledge and lend a hand with each other’s projects so you’ll get to see some other stuff too. We’re a small place so your ideas and opinions have direct influence on the company. You don’t have to like cats, Amigas or playing music, but they’re a good start if you want to butter us up a little bit.

The position makes £25-£35k full-time a year depending on experience. At Glastonbridge we prioritise low-stress, fun work involving arts and education, we do our best to be a nourishing place to spend our working time. Applicants should email us a brief summary of their educational and vocational background or a CV, a paragraph or two summarising your relevant skills, plus a link to any portfolio/open source work you’d like to show us. We will begin phone interviews on 15 October, and personal/technical interviews in Edinburgh before the end of the month. This is a full-time position based in Edinburgh, but part-time and/or some remote work is an option for the right candidate.

We aim not to discriminate against anyone’s race, gender, faith, sexuality, age, physicality, or anything else unrelated to being a developer. We expect the same from you. Please send your applications to


What if the natural ballet were to become actual? What if the elements of nature informed the movements of a body? How would such a dancer move, what would it look like? We are very excited to have had the pleasure of working with readysaltedcode of Brighton once again in realising the answer to these questions with [data]storm, a new data-driven dance performance that uses weather data and data visualisation to create an original ballet.



The second in the Art of Computer Science series, [data]storm uses Microsoft Kinect 2 and Intel RealSense to capture the movements of ballet dancers in 3D. Through this process, a unique abstract of human movement is achieved, enhancing the viewing experience. In addition, live projections of visualised data are projected onto a variety of polystyrene shapes using MeshWarpServer, allowing for greater dimensionality in the performance.


For more information on [data]storm, or any of the other performances in this series, check out, or watch the video of the live performance here:

If you have a creative or educational project and would be interested in hiring Glastonbridge as a technology provider then please get in touch by clicking here!

How does touchable VR fit in education?

What does a glockenspiel sound like in space?

What does a glockenspiel sound like in space?

Glastonbridge is about education as much as it is about art – inspiration is the essence of both.  We’ve been working with Anarkik3D and Stakeholder Design on an InnovateUK-funded research project bringing haptics and VR into schools.

(Just a quick note: I’m going to avoid saying “VR” and “haptics” as much as possible and say “immersive technology” instead.  We should be targeting the senses most closely connected with each learning experience, not tying ourselves to VR or AR or haptics depending on what’s fashionable.  It means a similar thing in each case: it looks, feels, or sounds like the virtual thing is really there, not just a representation on a screen.  Sermon over, on with the article!)

A young dentist drilling a tooth for the first time.  Relax, it's virtual!

A young dentist drilling a tooth for the first time. Relax, it’s virtual!

Going into a school and showing pupils the Oculus Rift, the Novint Falcon and the zSpace is a wonderful  experience.  Young people have a vision of technology primed by Doctor Who and unhampered by cynicism, and they’ve (usually) never experienced immersive tech before.  Take them to a virtual world, and they will try to reach out and interact with stuff.  Give them a 3D sculpting tool where they can feel the things they’re working on and they make incredible things without needing explanation.  And they laugh, and they tell you their ideas, and you walk out at the end of the day with your vision of the future changed for the better.  We should use this technology to engage with learners, to enhance understanding where it is appropriate.

On the other side of the learning fence, teachers fall into two camps.  Some see the strength with which immersive technology grips the students, and they joined in the enthusiasm.  Imagine traveling back in time to learn history, imagine being able to practice lathing or welding without needing supervision.  Others, conscious of how much work teachers already have and their responsibility to their students, warned that the value of the new technology has to be demonstrated before they can risk sinking classroom time into it.  It’s a chicken-and-egg situation: syllabuses are held back by what’s possible now, but without immersive technology in the classroom the syllabus won’t develop.  Nonetheless, there are lots of opportunities where teachers already find things difficult to teach, and where we could help.

A haptics experiment for students to 3D print and build their own!

A haptics experiment for students to 3D print and build their own!

We have worked with Glasgow Digital Design Studio to evaluate our software development platform, and with several schools and teachers to see what they thought about immersion.  This was our first feasibility study into the combination of haptics and education, and it has shown us opportunities and challenges.  So where are we going next?  We have lots of ideas, and we would like to produce a package of tools for making classrooms in immersive spaces.  We have some pretty cool bespoke software for making haptic virtual worlds, and we want to take it into education.

If you are interested in hiring Glastonbridge as a technology provider for your creative or educational project, we’d love to hear from you.  Please get in touch by clicking here!

Agile Retrospective Safety Check

Agile Retro Safety Check on Google Play

Agile Retro Safety Check on Google Play

Glastonbridge has gone agile! As part of the agile process, regular retrospectives are held to reflect on how we are doing and to find ways to improve.

What is a safety check?
The safety check is typically carried out at the start of a retrospective. It enables the facilitator to gauge how safe the participants feel in sharing their opinions and getting involved in the discussion. It is an important tool to make a judgement call on whether or not the retrospective should continue. A low safety check indicates that participants aren’t comfortable sharing their thoughts, which means they can’t expect any really value from continuing with the retrospective. It also indicates that there are more pressing issues that the team needs to address before continuing.

Participants submit anonymous votes between 1 and 5 to show how safe they feel (where 1 means they are not at all comfortable and 5 means they are completely open to share). The facilitator then looks at the votes before deciding if the retrospective should continue. This is usually all done using post-its, but we thought we’d change things up a bit!

What we’ve done
We’ve created an app! In it’s first release, Agile Retro Safety Check allows teams to hold a safety check with participants anonymously submitting their scores on a shared device. In the future, users will be able submit votes on their own devices, and facilitators will be able to monitor trends in safety scores.

The app was built by our newest team member, Olena, using Cordova, and the project is open source under an AGPL license.

More information about safety checks.

The Touchable Universe

How much better would digital learning be if you could reach out and touch the things you were learning about?  In collaboration with Edinburgh haptic pioneers Anarkik3D and Sheffield product design gurus Stakeholder Design, we have recently begun a new project based around haptic feedback and learning software.  We are working to put haptics in the front line of educational software, by creating a development platform to address real issues in the learning environment.

Haptics is an emerging technology that enables people to feel digital information. When combined with 3D audio-visual interfaces, it offers enormous potential for education. For instance, a well-designed system will enable dental students to feel the tooth as they practice drilling in a virtual patient’s mouth, while physics students could compare pushing snowballs uphill on Earth and Europa, and designers could learn how to shape glassware without the need for a furnace. Haptics makes the virtual universe touchable.

Are you a developer who wants to get involved with haptics in education?  We are currently in the midst of a feasibility study supported by InnovateUK, we are looking for interested parties who will discuss their own needs and interests in bringing educational products to market.  You could be shaping the platform for your future killer app!

If you are interested, please send an email to and I will send out some more details including possible dates. Each session is expected to last a couple of hours, where we will demonstrate an existing force-feedback system and have a discussion around the needs of developers in the educational space.  There will be tea and cakes, or beer and pizza, depending on attendee preferences.

Hope to see a few of you at the workshop!

[Arra]stre, data-driven ballet

This year we’ve had the tremendous privilege of working on a groundbreaking ballet performance combining data visualisation, computer science concepts, and, well, classical ballet.  The [Arra]stre performance is a part of the Art of Computer Science project conceived and executed by Brightonian arts and education visionaries ReadySaltedCode.

Glastonbridge provided the data capture software, using Microsoft Kinect to generate JSON streams of ballet performers.  This was turned into beautiful visualisations by Peter Cook, representing concepts in big data and software development.  Paul Golz of Ephemeris Dance took computer science theory and turned it into a choreography.  The talented young ballet dancers of Battle Abbey School brought it alive on the stage.  There was also plenty of other stuff to do, like workshops, rehearsals, sewing conductive thread into pointe shoes, and so forth!

Glastonbridge software up for industry award

Creating with Cloud9 and Ultimaker

Creating with Cloud9 and Ultimaker

We’re delighted to announce that 3D printing software developed with the help of Glastonbridge Software Ltd has been nominated for a major global award.

The Anarkik 3D Design 3D modelling, designing and printing application – which is set to take the market by storm and revolutionise the way designer-makers work – has been shortlisted in the Best Consumer Software category of the 3D Printshow Global Awards for the second year running. The product, which took the Best Consumer Software prize in the 2013 3D Printshow honours, has been nominated for the same accolade at this year’s awards, which are to be held in London later this month.

The Cloud9 software has been developed for professional designer-makers and artists and, bundled with the Falcon haptic device, which simulates touching at a single point of contact, helps to create easy, fluid designs in 3D. Founded in partnership by Edinburgh-based contemporary designer-maker Ann Marie Shillito and software engineer Xiaoqing Cao, Anarkik 3D has been developing its haptic technology to help revolutionise the way makers design their craft since 2007.

In collaboration with Glastonbridge Software, the designer-led firm offers advanced computer-aided design software combined with the technology to actually touch and manipulate objects created in a virtual three-dimensional space.

The commercialisation of its products follows seven years’ practical, theoretical and applied research into touch technology – otherwise known as ‘haptics’ – in a collaboration between Edinburgh College of Art and The University of Edinburgh.

A coral neckpiece design in Cloud9

A coral neckpiece design in Cloud9

The 3D Printshow will take place in London, Paris and New York between 4 and 6 September, 17 and 18 October, and later in 2015 respectively. Its Global Awards will kick off the proceedings at London’s Old Billingsgate on 4 September.

Also in the running for the Best Consumer Software Award are Netherland’s-based Ultimaker, whose Cura software has been designed to make 3D printing as easy and streamlined as possible; Sketch-Up’s Make 3D modelling software, and US and Iceland-based Modio’s desktop 3D printing application.

You’re invited to cast your votes and nominate Anarkik 3D Design via

This article was penned by Lynda Hamilton for Glastonbridge Software Limited.

Our new window display!

Somhairle Kelly with his work, our window display

Somhairle Kelly with his work, our window display

For the benefit of those of you who don’t have the joy of going up Dalkeith Road very often (which probably includes anybody reading this post), Glastonbridge Studios now has a new window display! It is a magical forest of literature, music and science, a collage made from recovered papers and laser-cut trees.  The artist, Somhairle Kelly, has a site here.

Web Theremin Hack

This Friday Robin and I took an hour or so out of our afternoon to make a theremin using a Kinect and javascript, just for the fun of it.  Here is a short clip of him playing it

To make this we used the KinectJSON server that we made for the Art of Computer Science project.  This meant that we could read in Kinect data on a webpage using Javascript.  The little boxes on the screen show the position of the virtual theremin (white box) and your left (blue) and right (red) hands.  The sine wave is made using the Web Audio API.

Just a little hack, but good fun.  Have a good weekend, internet!

Welcoming Robin Johnson, and our new studio office!

Glastonbridge Studios Wow!  Glastonbridge Software is growing.  We have several fabulous performance, arts and crafting clients doing inspiring things, and so we’ve taken on a new hire and moved into a new office!
Continue reading ‘Welcoming Robin Johnson, and our new studio office!’