Press Release: Oxford academics ‘engage’ virtual reality distance learning at CES

HTC Vive and virtual reality distance learning platform Engage to showcase the LIFE project from the University of Oxford. 

Oxford, UK and Las Vegas, US – 4th January 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Engagea virtual reality (VR) education platform capable of giving hands on lessons anywhere in the world – is set to be used to showcase the Life-Saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE) project by Oxford University academics at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) conference 2017.

Developed by Immersive Education Ltd, the Engage platform (stylised as “ENGAGE”) uses VR platforms, including the HTC Vive (stylised as “VIVE”), to create interactive virtual classrooms. Each classroom can instruct up to 30 individuals simultaneously and offers avatar interaction, allowing instructors to be able to observe and provide feedback on a student’s work in real-time.

The LIFE Engage demo showcased at CES will be healthcare-focused, showing how the platform can be used to educate healthcare workers in developing countries on infant resuscitation techniques. At present, levels of infant mortality in Africa are so great that 1 in 10 children do not live to see their fifth birthday. Building on a gamified mobile app developed by LIFE, which is receiving business development support from Oxford University Innovation, the LIFE demo on the Engage platform aims to show how the level of emergency care available for infants can be improved through virtual distance learning.

The potential for Engage extends beyond medical training. In conjunction with its virtual reality classroom engagement offering, the Engage team have also developed the Immersive FX presenter system. Immersive FX gives instructors the ability to give virtual, interactive presentations in almost any setting conceivable, such as planetary sciences lessons on the surface of Mars or the sinking of the Titanic from the very deck of the ship.

Dr Chris Paton, Group Head for Global Health Informatics at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and who is presenting the LIFE demo at CES, said:

“A VR version of LIFE has the potential to augment both face-to-face training and the mobile version of the LIFE game. VR allows students in remote areas to connect with trainers in a virtual hospital ward where they can access equipment and practice performing tasks with a virtual instructor.”

Dan O’Brien, Vice President of Virtual Reality at HTC Vive, added:

“Education experiences are a critical component to delivering an immersive VR experience and building out the ever-growing Vive ecosystem. We built Vive to deliver the most immersive, room-scale VR experience on the market today. Organisations like Oxford University and Immersive help us meet this vision and we’re excited to see what LIFE Engage offers to the VR experience.”

CES attendees are encouraged to try out the LIFE Engage demo for themselves at the HTC Vive demo area at Wynn’s Alsace Ballroom from 2-3pm on Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th.


For more information or to arrange interview, please contact:

CES conference/United States

Dr Chris Paton, Group Head for Global Health Informatics at the Centre for Tropical Medicine, Oxford University

T: +44 (0)7552 698058 | E:

United Kingdom

Gregg Bayes-Brown, Marketing and Communications Manager, Oxford University Innovation

T: +44 (0)1865 280867 | E:

Notes to editors

About University of Oxford Life-Saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE) Project

LIFE offers a way to rapidly scale-up access to the most current, locally relevant emergency or health practice guidance – even for isolated health workers.

  • Transfers correct and clinically approved knowledge on new born and childhood emergency care
  • Ensures a player can repeatedly demonstrate the correct cue-response decision sequences when faced with common emergency situations
  • Provides graded levels of difficulty, enabling both low and high-skill players to be challenged
  • Promotes competition between player and device and across players
  • Can be played on low-cost smart-phones
  • Can be linked to accredited professional development schemes
  • Can track accreditation coverage and prompt retraining to ensure knowledge retention

The LIFE team have developed a mobile game that uses a 3D hospital that players can navigate through to play the scenario. The team is also exploring how the system could be delivered through the new HTC Vive virtual reality system.  The same 3D hospital is used but instead of navigating the scenario on a smartphone, the user can enter the hospitals in virtual reality, using a headset connected to a computer.  Users would access this type of system through a local training centre, and continue to play the game and keep their knowledge up-to-date though the smartphone versions of the game.

The LIFE project was funded through OxReach, the University of Oxford’s crowdfunding website, and was one of the 2016 winners of the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge. The project is supported by the HTC, The Skoll Foundation, and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

The LIFE project was made possible with the support of Saving Lives at Birth and its partners, which include: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the UK Government, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). This press release was prepared by the University of Oxford and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Saving Lives at Birth partners.

Twitter: @oxlifeproject


About Vive

Vive (stylised as “VIVE”) is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform developed by HTC and Valve for total immersion in virtual worlds. Designed from the ground up for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions, Vive delivers on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content. Vive has been recognised with over 65 awards and wide critical acclaim since its unveiling in 2015. For more information, visit

About Immersive VR Education

Immersive VR Education Ltd is an Ireland-based company creating a virtual reality (VR) education platform called Engage (stylised as “ENGAGE”) to transform distance learning.

The Engage platform is a type of virtual reality PowerPoint that is networked, recordable and editable by its users. Instead of using images on PowerPoint slides for your presentation, Engage uses 3D assets and environments to totally immerse its users.

Engage enables educators to create their own content, classes and courses so they can teach any student anywhere in the world in a virtual classroom.

Immersive VR Education are working closely with HTC, Oxford University, New Haven University, The Royal College of Surgeons and others to bring immersive content to the Engage platform.

Immersive VR Education also create showcase experiences to promote educational uses of VR. Their most recognized experience to date has been the Apollo 11 VR Experience which has won multiple awards and has proved hugely popular on many platforms including the HTC Vive.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies are going to transform education globally in the coming years and Immersive VR Education is at the forefront of this revolution.

Twitter: @vreducation


About Oxford University Innovation

Oxford University Innovation supports innovation activities across all University Divisions, managing technology transfer and consulting activities, and providing an innovation management service to clients around the world.

We provide access to technology from Oxford researchers through intellectual property licensing, spinout company formation and material sales, and to academic expertise through our Consulting Services team. The New Venture Support & Funding team supports investors or donors with an interest in early-stage ventures, and manages the Oxford Angels Network.

Our Startup Incubator supports members and ex-members of the University who wish to start or grow entrepreneur-driven ventures that are not University spinouts.

Oxford University Innovation is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked 1st in the UK for university spinouts, having created over 140 new companies in 25 years. In the last reported financial year, we completed 529 licenses and consulting agreements. Isis Enterprise, our innovation management consultancy, works with university, government and industrial clients from offices around the world.

For updates on innovations from Oxford, follow Oxford University Innovation on LinkedIn and Twitter or subscribe at

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