AppliedVR raises $29 million in series A funding, Innovation hub HOST to house UK’s first Unity centre of excellence, and Perception teaches students the basics of desktop AR
AppliedVR raises $29 million in series A funding
AppliedVR, the developer of virtual reality-based treatments that address the complexity of chronic pain, has completed a $29 million series A funding round, bringing its total funds raised to $35 million.
Who provided the funding?
The round, which included key investors F-Prime Capital, JAZZ Venture Partners, Sway Ventures, GSR Ventures, Magnetic Ventures and Cedars-Sinai, will fuel the company’s growth as it pursues full regulatory approval for its treatments over the next year.
What does AppliedVR do?
AppliedVR provides virtual reality-based treatments aimed at comprehensively treating chronic pain.
Combining well-established cognitive behavioral therapies with mindfulness exercises, the company’s EaseVRx solution recently became the first virtual reality prescription therapeutic to receive breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment-resistant fibromyalgia and chronic intractable lower back pain.
The company also just released results from its pivotal eight-week randomised clinical trial, finding that the EaseVRx device produced “clinically meaningful” improvement in multiple pain outcomes, and had high participant satisfaction and engagement.
What does AppliedVR say?
Commenting on the funding, Matthew Stoudt, co-founder and chief executive officer of AppliedVR, says: “Chronic pain is one of the most common medical conditions in the world, yet it still is incredibly debilitating to patients, costly to the system and complex to treat.”
“While our mission has always been to demonstrate that VR can be a powerful analgesic in any setting, the Covid-19 pandemic has created a surge in demand for digital medicines like VR that can be delivered safely to patients in their own homes.”
“As a leading evidence-backed VR therapeutics provider in healthcare, we’re committed to meaningfully improving the lives of people suffering from chronic pain by making VR the standard of care for treating chronic pain in a provider-prescribed, payer-reimbursed model.”
Innovation hub HOST to house UK’s first Unity centre of excellence
HOST, an innovation hub in Greater Manchester, England, at MediaCityUK, has established the first Unity centre of excellence in the UK.
The Centre of Excellence at HOST will offer extensive in-person support to students, professionals and small businesses with a mission of becoming the ‘Beacon of the North’ for best-in-class technical skills and innovation across industries.
What will the centre of excellence do?
The centre of excellence will upskill learners to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, promote immersive technology usage across sectors, create highly skilled jobs and establish a central home for the thriving UK video games industry at MediaCityUK.
In line with HOST’s commitment to removing the present barriers affecting diversity and inclusivity, the centre of excellence will launch a comprehensive training programme working with UK universities and industry to deliver professional Certified Unity training.
Additionally, the newly created Unity Cadets will support 150 disadvantaged youngsters from Greater Manchester in Years 10 to 13, to educate and inspire career starts in the gaming and immersive sector.
HOST has also secured a partnership with Gameopolis, the largest video games community and network for developers and publishers across Northwest England. It is also working in partnership with the University of Salford and former Sony PlayStation ‘imagineer’ Dr Maria Stukoff, who is supporting with the development of its esports and XR immersive community.
What does HOST say?
“This is an incredible coup for us, we are immensely humbled and privileged for Unity to have chosen us,” says Mo Isap, chief executive officer of IN4.0 Group, operator of HOST. “We can now massively accelerate startup growth, business innovation, incentivise the creation of thousands of jobs, and provide fair access to high-quality career starts with ground-breaking initiatives such as the Unity Cadets.”
“Unity is the leader in real-time 3D development so the centre of excellence at HOST will establish MediaCityUK as a global destination for the growth of the gaming and immersive technology industry.”
What does Unity say?
“Immersive technology such as AR and VR is developing and diversifying at breakneck speed, transforming all sectors, including gaming, entertainment, health, education, retail, manufacturing, and more,” says Ryan Peterson, vice president of solutions at Unity.
“The most exciting and long-lasting impact will be our work to create sustainable job opportunities in the local sector and, in tandem, develop professionals with the skills to take on those opportunities.”
Perception teaches students the basics of desktop AR
Perception, a UK-based computer software company, recently hosted a workshop on developing desktop augmented reality for 26 students from Bangkok Prep International School.
What is Holo-SDK?
The Holographic Software Development Kit (Holo-SDK) uses augmented reality technology to enable users to create their own version of a volumetric display. The software creates the illusion of 3D objects and scenes on any 2D monitor using just a computer, webcam, and 3D glasses (anaglyph glasses).
What did the workshop focus on?
The workshop focused on educating students with basic coding skills and providing a hands-on exercise for them to develop their own desktop augmented reality experiences using Holo-SDK.
Utilising Perception’s sample app, Holo-Mars, the three-hour workshop enabled students to make holographic experiences using Holo-SDK through a game that involves an astronaut exploring Mars with their rovers and satellite.
What’s next for Perception?
Perception plans to do more of these workshops and expand to other schools in Thailand and worldwide. It aims to arm future creators with the coding skills they need to build businesses and careers in augmented reality and immersive technology.
What did Perception say?
Chief technology officer Dr Krisada Chaiyasarn says: “We want to educate our young students to be technology entrepreneurs, be creators, not consumers. This is why we organised the workshop to teach students at a very young age.”
What did Bangkok Prep International School say?
Alison Cantrill, head of careers and student pathways, says: “It is good to see students being challenged with activities outside of the classroom. I can see that Desktop AR applications can be integrated as teaching tools to increase the level of engagement and interactions with lessons.”
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Images: AppliedVR, IN4.0 Group and Perception