€40,000 Prize Fund for VR
Researchers and Content Creators 

The XR Research Awards is a new opportunity for researchers and content creators to apply to a €40,000 fund to study behavior in VR. The aims of the XR Research Awards are to promote the use of objective data to understand human behavioral responses in VR.

The XR Research Awards targets worldwide researchers, content creators or individuals affiliated with an academic, research, clinical, rehabilitation, or commercial company that may participate. To be eligible, your proposal must integrate biosensors for objective measurement.

The motivation for the awards is to foster an evidence-based approach to VR so that this amazing technology can fulfill its potential. VR represents a unique way to understand human behavior by monitoring behaviors and responses to known stimuli. As such, it offers a more cost-effective way to generate simulated environments for research and testing in fields such as psychology, mental health (anxiety, OCD, autism etc), neurology (Parkinson’s, FP, Stroke, Alzheimer’s), neuroscience – social science, Human-Computer Interaction, human factors, consumer research. Research needs to move away from relying on questionnaires and surveys as these are biased by what the user can remember and if used using an experience may interrupt the sense of immersion. For content creators, VR offers a controlled environment to study how users respond to specific stimuli such as designs, and virtual spaces. In addition to the use of eye-tracking and heart rate to evaluate attention and stress responses, additional sensor technologies such as EMG and EEG can be used to assess cognitive load in areas such as education, training, game design, content analytics.

The judges are leaders in the fields of scientific research, biosignals, safety and business and will favorably judge proposals that: focus on validating the effectiveness for VR, are collaborative, working with partners in two or more organizations and have clearly defined outputs. You can see the list of the judges here: xrra.net/judges/

The awards are providing cash, equipment and support to academic researchers, content creators or developers looking to develop objective measures of the impact of VR. Submissions close on 26th November and the winners will be announced on 3rd January 2022.

The award is in partnership with leading organizations promoting quality, safety, and research. These include the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association (VRARA), the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI), MedVR, the International Virtual Reality Healthcare Association (IVRHA), The International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation (ISVR), the XR Distributed Research Network (XRDRN), VR Healthcare and VR days. The judges include leading researchers in the fields of VR plus representatives from the industry sponsors Emteq Labs, Cognitive3D, and Plux Wireless Biosignals.

About Emteq Labs 

Emteq Labs is the market leader in biosensing for VR technology to monitor and translate human responses into data and actionable feedback about behaviour, tailored to your project. Their integrated solution provides unparalleled insights for the measurement of emotions, through facial muscle activity, heart rate and respiratory rate. It offers the ability to control the user experience and is therefore ideal for researchers wanting to assess behaviors in simulated environments, trainers wanting to provide their clients with more continuous feedback, and content creators interested in understanding human behavior and responses.

“We are proud to support researchers who are looking to use VR as a research laboratory to study human behavior. We are happy to partner with leaders in the fields of hardware, physiological monitoring, and data analytics so that academic or commercial researchers and content creators can get accurate information on how people respond to VR.”

About Cognitive3D

Cognitive3D’s vision is to change the way human behavior is measured and analyzed. Through use of immersive technology, Cognitive3D identified an incredible opportunity to collect spatial intelligence, leveraging virtual, augmented and mixed reality devices as a vehicle for data collection. Their technology provides an innovative approach to academic and consumer research, which enables customers to develop better strategies, and understand user behaviors through a unique quantitatively measured platform.

About Plux Wireless Biosignals

PLUX develops biosignal acquisition systems applied in hundreds of R&D facilities worldwide to boost their work. Their award-winning wireless and modular multi-sensor platforms enable the development of custom solutions based on their experienced team and field-proven solutions. Established in 2007, PLUX also creates innovative products for Physiotherapists and Researchers, by developing an advanced biosignal monitoring platform that integrates wearable body sensors such as electromyography (EMG), electrocardiography, respiration, and accelerometers combined with wireless connectivity and software applications.

About PICO

With operations in the United States, Europe, China and Japan, Pico develops innovative VR solutions which enable users to experience the best in VR and Interactive CGI experiences. Founded in 2015, the company has over 300 team members around the world. PICO makes VR products, but more importantly, they want people to enjoy the amazing, fun and entertaining worlds that VR enables.