Immerse UK announces the ten finalists in the 2023 Awards, across five categories.

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Best Overall Category

Elliot Mann is a 20-year-old game developer and music producer, currently in his 2nd year studying Interactive Media at the University of York. His project Sandboard “is a PC VR sand surfing and grappling game. With a board at your feet and two grapple hands at your disposal, zip down sandy slopes, fly off boosts, and use your grapples to propel yourself forward and upward.” Download it here for free (at Watch the video about Elliot’s project.

Ju Zhang is a current research intern at Microsoft Research and XR MSc student at Goldsmiths with extensive experience in the media industry in the past 12 years, working on Goldsmiths VR Lab, “an innovative multiplayer social VR experience that seamlessly intertwines reality with the virtual realm, providing a virtual embodiment for you to embody an entirely new persona”. Watch the video about Ju’s project.

UX & UI Design

Brontie Auld is a Research Assistant utilising virtual reality and electroencephalography to understand decision making in different transport mode contexts. Last year, she graduated from the University of Leeds in Advanced Psychology.  “My project explored the extent of diversity and inclusivity within virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) research understanding and augmenting human behaviour, showing how future researchers must prioritise greater diversity within all aspects of their research to increase the accessibility of immersive technology and maximise the potential of VR and AR in society.” Watch the video about Brontie’s project.

Edmund Wei Zen Yang is a BSc Interactive Media student at the University of York. He has a great passion for applying technological innovation to craft meaningful experiences. His project “attempts to create an accessible and engaging All-in-one museum guide using the latest web-based technologies including 3D and AR.” Watch the video about Edmund’s project.

Digital Art & Creative Storytelling Category

Tatiana Collet-Apraxine is a French VR director/creator and real time artist living in London, who extensively trained and worked as an award winning theatre practitioner before transitioning to the VR/XR world. Her shortlisted work, The Descent, “is an animated Virtual Reality journey into the mythical Underworld that explores the themes of grief and loss.” Watch the video about Tatiana’s project.

Aijia Wang is an interdisciplinary artist originally from China who is currently pursuing an MA in Information Experience Design at the Royal College of Art. Artificial Dreams “is an art project that utilizes virtual reality technology as its primary medium to create an immersive and interactive experience for the audience… The project provides a unique perspective on the operation mechanism of a future 3-dimensional gender system, exploring the life experiences and inner world of the main character through a combination of reality and imagination.” Watch the video about Aijia’s project.

Technical Innovation Category

Niall McShane is a PhD student in spatial computing and Brain-Computer Interfaces at Ulster University’s Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC). “Neuro-Dojo is an immersive training environment and 3D movement decoding brain computer interface application. It uses immersive technology in combination with a brain computer interface to decode imagined 3D movements and translate them into virtual limb movements. The application provides a virtual reality environment with embodied visual feedback that assists in training users to regulate their sensorimotor brain modulations whilst performing kinematic and imagined limb movements. This data is used to train and calibrate a neural network model that can decode imagined movement trajectories for real-time 3D limb control.” Watch the video about Niall’s project.

Nikolaos Kouis is a 22-year-old computer enthusiast from Cyprus with extensive experience in Java, C#, Unity, and C++. He has worked on several video game projects using Unity and Unreal Engine. “House Scale VR is a revolutionary software that utilizes the Passthrough feature of Oculus Quest 2 to provide a realistic and immersive experience.” Watch the video about Nikolaos’ project.

Sensory Category

Liana O’Cleirigh is an Irish Interaction Designer currently completing an MA/MSc program in Global Innovation Design at The Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Her project is Narrative Realms, “a mesmerising tactile collaborative storytelling platform that enriches the creative writing landscape.” Watch the video about Liana’s project.

Mattia Colombo is a third-year PhD student in computer graphics, vision and sound rendering and a tutor and demonstrator at the Games Academy at Birmingham City University. “My project proposes a novel pipeline for realistic sound transmissions between virtual sound sources and listeners in Augmented Reality (AR). The project is presented as a system that leverages space-sensing technologies within AR devices that reconstruct space surrounding the user. The system uses these reconstructions to analyse the geometry and materials of the space surrounding the user, determining acoustics features that feed into acoustic simulation methods for propagating sound from a virtual sound-emitting object to the user.” Watch the video about Mattia’s project.