Page content

Ulster University has brought the world of fairies to life in an app for young children which showcases world-first smartphone technology developed here in Northern Ireland.

Fairy Magic, which is now free to download from the App Store for a limited period, was developed as part of a major animation led research project at Ulster University.

Aimed at young girls aged between 6-8 years old, the app offers a magical and interactive fairy experience using the world’s most advanced facial animation technology. Users can catch fairies, chat with them and photograph them in the real world offering an enchanting and unique animation experience.

It is being offered as a free download until the start of January to celebrate Ulster University being independently rated through the Research Excellence Framework as one of the top universities in the UK, and top in Northern Ireland, for the world-leading impact of its Art and Design led research.

Ulster University’s Professor Greg Maguire, who led on the research and has since commercialised it via his company Inlifesize said: “The technology developed has delivered solutions for many of the animation sector’s biggest challenges, including how to improve aesthetics and facial expression on mobile devices in a cost effective manner.

“Not only do we now have Fairy Magic which offers every little girl an opportunity to step into the enchanted world of fairies in the most realistic and engaging way, but we have technology developed by this university which is now leading the way globally in animation.

“We are now exploring collaborations with gaming companies in the US to develop new applications for the Fairy Magic technology. This can only be good news for the creative industries sector here and for Ulster University’s reputation for world-leading, impact focused applied research.”