Immersive technology research catalysing creation and development of an SME

University of Glasgow research into Virtual Reality Experiences (VREs) addresses the nature and value of VREs: what they are, how real the objects encountered there are; and conferred benefits such as skills acquisition – without the disadvantages or barriers that the equivalent real-life experience would bring.

These insights into the perceptual and metaphysical ‘reality’ of VR have clear application in teaching contexts, which in turn has allowed testing of the concepts. This UofG research carried out by Professor Fiona Macpherson and Dr Neil McDonnell has helped create and transform tech start-up business Sublime Digital, leading to the company’s rapid growth and over £700,000 government investment (via Innovate UK) for the design and delivery of 10 VR learning environments and their innovative data-gathering platforms. Responding to Covid-19 constraints, this University of Glasgow/Sublime project, Mobius, shifted from teaching in VR labs to Project ‘Edify’, enabling delivery of a VR experience to students without the need for VR equipment, using software such as Zoom. Edify has now attracted an additional £1.3 million investment, further transforming Sublime, and was rolled out in Autumn 2020 to 26 UK HEIs and 27 HEIs across 5 continents.