Innovate UK Immersive Tech Network is excited to announce the ten finalists across five categories for the 2024 Innovate UK Immersive Tech Awards! We are also pleased to announce the selected participants for the new Career Breakout Showcase.

Sign up here to attend the awards ceremony in London on 21st May and check out the showcase demos.

You can also watch the videos for each team in our Vimeo showcase (see Content Warning for Ooh La La below).

Best Immersive Game

Mostafa S. Ebrahimi & Meghna Supriya Saji  – Ooh La La! Content Warning – Recording includes text and visual content relating to sexual wellbeing, viewer discretion is advised. London College of Communication, University of the Arts London

Ooh La La! is an XR experience that merges two distinct worlds: a Virtual Reality playground and a Mixed Reality musical orchestra, paired with interactive toys. Its primary goal is to destigmatise societal taboos surrounding sexual wellbeing, acting as an icebreaker while providing entertainment for users.

Zhenghao Du, Kun Yang, Haodong Zhang & Ruiting Zhang – Blind Samurai – University of Bristol

Blind Samurai is an innovative VR game that immerses players into the world of a blind swordsman, driven by audio gameplay. Players rely on their hearing to perceive their environment and enemies, engaging in precise action interactions to overcome various challenges.

Creative XR Storytelling

Paul Baule – Passeri Polyphony – Royal College of Art

Passeri Polyphony is a prototype for an immersive experience portraying a shocking reality about the state of our planet: the once vast orchestra of life, the soundscape of the natural world, is turning silent. The audience is invited to engage with a ‘living’ data visualisation, an emergent Murmuration of 17000 ‘flying’ audio waveforms that statistically represent 17 of the UK’s most endangered songbird (or Passeri) species.

Mostafa S. Ebrahimi – Etidrohpa – London College of Communication, University of the Arts London

Etidorhpa transforms storytelling into a virtual reality adventure, merging narrative text with interactive VR environments to elevate the reading experience to new heights. With the use of eye-tracking technology, it creates an engaging narrative realm within VR, where the story unfolds through events, sounds, visuals an environment that respond instantly to the words the user focuses on.

Sensory

Zih-Jie (Artemis) Weng and Bethan Hancock – Consciousness in The Landscape – Royal College of Art

The format is an interactive game built in UE5. The player explores a route through a forest landscape, which gradually evolves into a city landscape using Anthropocene imagery. The game is inspired by films such as Annihilation (2018), where nature evolves as the explorers traverse the landscape.

Chaojing Li – Echoed Grin – Lonely No More – Goldsmiths, University of London

Echoed Grin – Lonely No More is a virtual reality immersive journey designed to address the pervasive feeling of loneliness, using the metaphorical setting of an undersea world to explore the power of connection and the impact of positive attitudes.

Technical Innovation

Hanju Seo – Being a Giraffe – Royal College of Art & Imperial College London

Being a Giraffe tackles the alarming decline of the giraffe population with an innovative VR experience, crafted to bridge the empathy gap between humans and giraffes. Users are equipped with a custom controller that mimics giraffe movements, offering an immersive glimpse into their world.

Joshua Davies, Nathan Thomas-Benke, Jake Boulton, Mai Ye & Hwanjoon Jang – BeatBoxVR – Goldsmiths, University of London

BeatBoxVR, a virtual reality drumming experience, offers players an unparalleled immersive musical journey. Utilizing VR technology, it places users at the center of a virtual drum kit, where they can play, learn, and enjoy music in a fully interactive 3D environment. The game combines realistic audio responses, visual effects, haptic feedback, and physical interactions to simulate playing an actual drum set, enhanced with educational modes for learning and practice, as well as play mode/ challenge mode for entertainment and skill testing.

UX & UI Design

Sarune Savickaite - Exploring Neurodiversity through Immersive Experiences – University of Glasgow

Exploring Neurodiversity through Immersive Experiences is designed to investigate individual differences in perception due to neurodiversity, specifically focusing on individuals with autism and ADHD traits. Through Virtual Reality (VR) technology, the thesis aims to understand and address the unique needs of neurodiverse populations, enhancing communication and creative expression, which started a new way of assessing perceptual and cognitive differences and sparked further research in the field.

Ayesha Williams-Bhatti – Sepsis Collab – Birmingham City University

Sepsis Collab is a unique virtual reality simulation for training doctors, nurses and paramedics to identify and treat sepsis. The simulation makes use of Machine Learning for individualised user experiences and allows for a multi-user experiences where clinicians from the different disciplines can collaborate seamlessly via VR either remotely or in-person.

Career Breakout Showcase

Tim Limon

The AR Phonics Soundboard acts as a conduit for literacy, fusing contemporary accessible hardware and web resources with the wider cultural skill base/awareness of social media etiquette.

Chipo Mapondera

Futuristic Pagan is a virtual reality experience connecting fashion, nature and spirituality, in a Zezuru traditional dreamscape. It presents the fashion collection, designed using 3D modelling techniques, to elevate the traditional Hanga and Retso fabrics.
The virtual reality experience explores our connection to the ancestral realm through nature.