Students win big at the Immersive Tech Awards

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Goldsmiths computing students have been recognised at the Innovate UK Immersive Tech Awards, a national competition for students in the immersive technology space.

Students on the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality course smiling and holding the Jury Prize awarded for their ‘BeatBoxVR’ project.

Joshua Davies, Nathan Thomas-Benke, Mai Ye, Hwanjoon Jang and Jake Boulton, students on the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality course won the Jury Prize, for their ‘BeatBoxVR’ project.

Students from the Department of Computing impressed the judges with their creative and innovative projects, with Goldsmiths winning two awards and one internship at the 2024 Immersive Tech Awards.

Chaojing Li, a PhD student in the field of VR storytelling was named the Sensory Winner for her project ‘Echoed Grin – Lonely No More’

Joshua Davies, Nathan Thomas-Benke, Hwanjoon Jang, Mai Ye and Jake Boulton, students on the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality course also won the Jury Prize, for their ‘BeatBoxVR’ project.  Joshua Davies was also awarded the Soluis Group Grand Prize Internship.

The award is the biggest competition for UK-based students in immersive technology. Any students studying in the UK can apply, and it’s highly competitive. The judges come from industry and academia and are looking for originality and technical difficulty, as well as creativity

Professor Sylvia Xueni Pan, Department of Computing

Immersive Tech Award Sensory Winner Chaojing Li said: “I am dedicated to researching how to create VR experiences that provide 'Aha moments' and aim to contribute to the establishment of the VR storytelling language through my research findings.

“My project, Echoed Grin, is a VR experience that uses facial tracking to track the player's smile as the main mechanism to interact. Inspired by the idea from psychology that 'smiling can improve mood and help with communication,' this project lets players use their smile to interact with the VR world.

“This project is about breaking through loneliness and the fear of connecting with others. In this VR world, players will see how their positive actions can reshape their environment and relationships.”

Joshua Davies, lead developer and project manager for the BeatBox VR team explained the project as: “A virtual reality drumming simulator and rhythm game for drummers of all skill levels with an emphasis on customization and immersive 3D environments.

“With a core objective to create an application that covers the fundamentals of drumming whilst providing an entertaining and immersive platform experience.”

Joshua Davies was awarded the Soluis Group Grand Prize Internship

The Innovate UK Immersive Tech Awards is the biggest competition in the UK for students in the immersive technology space, hosted by Innovate UK, the Immersive Tech Network.

Professor Sylvia Xueni Pan added: “In order to stand out at the competition, there has to be something innovative that could excite most judges. This is very hard as most judges are very seasoned practitioners in the immersive space and can be quite difficult to impress.

“Any winning team must have demonstrated excellent understanding of the immersive technology - not only how to make a piece of work that looks impressive, but something that would engage with users in a way that goes beyond the limitations of the traditional 2D user interaction. This takes creative and technical skills to deliver.

“This year we won two awards and one internship. The BeatBoxXR team were masters’ students from our MA/MSc in Virtual and Augmented degree, and Chaojing Li, a PhD student with us, also graduated from this degree a few years ago.

“The Masters in V/AR degree is aimed at providing students with the necessary skills to thrive in the immersive section of the creative industry. What we have seen is that in recent years, there has been a shift of focus from using traditional media to AI-Powered, immersive interfaces. It takes both technical and creative skills to create innovative and meaningful immersive experiences, and our master’s degree addresses exactly the skill gap needed in this space.”

The Department of Computing offers a place where students can participate in, teach, communicate and exemplify a creative and socially aware form of Computing.

You can find out more about the awards and the full list of Immersive Tech Awards 2024 Winners on the