03 May 2016
A technology firm which creates immersive environments for clients including special needs schools and the emergency services has been named Merseyside Innovation Award winner for April.
The award was presented to Chris Porter and David Salt by dewinter MD, Kate Cox.
Immersive Interactive is based in Southport but its technology is used across the UK and internationally to deliver unique training and educational environments.
Its creators and directors, David Salt and Chris Porter, have taken existing digital projector and sensor technology and upgraded it to create interactive high definition, 360 degree environments which individuals can interact with and manipulate.
The system projects HD images and animations onto classroom walls while simultaneously producing related smells, smoke effects and even snow to create a totally immersive simulated environment. The system can be used to simulate a burning building for fire rescue training, long lost locations such as roman amphitheatres for schools projects or to combat phobias such as the dentist in a controlled, gradual manner.
It has even been used in schools ranging from special educational needs schools to universities to help them better understand and engage with lessons and concepts.
For David, receiving the MIA prize was a shock.
“We’ve never entered before,” he said. “But we have always known that what we are doing is at the cutting edge.
“By bringing together the latest technology and adapting it we have been able to create a system that can be sold to schools, police and fire authorities, NHS Trusts, ambulance and paramedic services.
“It provides emergency services with a cost effective and highly controlled way of setting up and delivering immersive simulation experience training without the need to stage expensive large scale events.
“Plus it can be used in therapy and in education. We will even teach those who buy the system how to programme it themselves, so they can adapt it to their needs in future.
“We can make the activities and scenes interactive, so when children touch a Greek vase on the wall they can learn more about its history for example, and we believe the system is only limited by your imagination.”
The monthly award was presented on behalf of the sponsor group by dewinter PR managing director Kate Cox after fellow sponsor Ian McGee of Natwest assessed the application.
He said Immersive Interactive was not just at the forefront of experiential technology, but was delivering a social good.
“Innovation is many things. Immersive Interactive is not only innovating in one of the most exciting new digital fields, but it has identified how what it has created can have a benefit to specific groups in society and that adds something. “This is not a fancy video game add-on, it has a real-world application that could bring great benefit, and it was created here on Merseyside.”