€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 behaviour in VR. The aims of the XR Research Awards are to promote the use of objective data to understand human behavioural 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 fulfil its potential. VR represents a unique way to understand human behaviour by monitoring behaviours 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 favourably judge proposals that: focus on validating the effectiveness for VR, are collaborative, working with partners in two or more organisations and have clearly defined outputs. You can see the list of the judges here https://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 organisations 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 behaviours in simulated environments, trainers wanting to provide their clients with more continuous feedback, and content creators interested in understanding human behaviour and responses. https://www.emteqlabs.com 

“We are proud to support researchers who are looking to use VR as a research laboratory to study human behaviour. 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.”

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