Two International Awards won by Waterford based VR Company.

By 16th October 2015 No Comments

Immersive VR Education, based in Waterford, was founded little over 12 months ago by David Whelan and Sandra Whelan. Immersive VR Education is focused on redefining how educational content is delivered to students using Virtual Reality Technology.

Their first educational experience is the Apollo 11 experience. David Whelan C.E.O of Immersive VR Education states “Our Apollo experience puts you into the shoes of Neil Armstrong and you can experience first-hand what it was like to live through the most famous journey in history”

The experience has won the Time Warner, Future of Story Telling Award for 2015 in New York. The experience was chosen from over 300+ applications to receive the prestigious award that was attended by ex Vice President of the Unites States, Al Gore, members of the Disney Imagineering Team and many pioneers of their industry who wished to launch “a global competition designed to recognize the boundless ingenuity of the storytelling community at large!”

The experience has also won the Peoples Choice Award for Best Interactive Experience at the FIVARS festival (Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories) in Toronto in Canada last week who’s goal is to “Focus on curating the best immersive story-driven content in the world with the aim of exploring and nurturing this platform for new narrative forms”

Virtual Reality (VR) is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. This artificial or virtual environment is displayed to use user using a HMD “head mounted display”.

Immersive VR Education is a spin out of the International reconginised research centre TSSG. Barry Downes, CEO of TSSG, Founder of FeedHenry (acquired by Red Hat NYSE: RHT in 2014 for $82 million) and a Board Director of Immersive VR Education said about the awards “Immersive VR Education is the first of its kind globally, targeting education in a completely different way, based on experiences that are unforgettable. Who does not want to walk on the moon alongside Neil Armstrong and be able to recall the Apollo 11 launch first hand? It is a great achievement by both Dave and Sandra Whelan to have won two international awards and it is recognition that is well deserved for the amazing Apollo 11 VR experience”.

Founder, Sandra Whelan, spoke about this new technology and their award winning Apollo 11 experience at the Waterford Start Up Gathering on October 6th in the Tower Hotel in Waterford.

About Future of Storytelling Prize

Technology is changing the ways that we tell stories, allowing for greater interactivity, participation, and emotional engagement. To celebrate this renaissance of creativity, we’re excited to announce the second annual FoST Prize, a global competition designed to recognize the boundless ingenuity of the storytelling community at large! We’re in search of the world’s most innovative and adventurous story creators, working across platforms to mastermind boldly interactive narratives.


About FIVARS – Virtual Reality Festival Toronto

The inaugural Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories in Toronto took place between Friday September 18th and Monday September 21st, 2015.

The focus of this event was the examination of new narrative possibilities with the emergent media platform of virtual and augmented reality. Through panel discussions and a carefully selected catalog of exhibits – each representing a different possible presentational framework – FIVARS squeezed the discourse on new potentialities for storytelling, attempting important distinctions between games, ambient installations and actually narrative projects.

DorkShelf magazine said “FIVARS at least offers a glimpse at the artistic potential of an entirely new medium,” and Culturetrip said “Here are some experiences that will turn VR skeptics into fanatics.”


About Immersive VR Education

Immersive Virtual Reality Education is for students of all ages and abilities who wish to learn through experience rather than memory testing.

Using Immersive VR Environments we can place students in any real world or virtual situation with an active role in proceedings through various tasks they will need to complete. Situations and outcomes will dynamically change depending on the students input and this will keep the student active and engaged throughout the lesson.

Students of all ages typically retain between 10% and 30% of that they read and see. Traditional educational materials fail to inspire and engage further learning with most students as it forces them into a form of memory testing rather than retaining knowledge through practice and experience.