On 08 Dec 2017, the UNICEF Innovation Fund announces 6 new investments in open source technology solutions – IDEASIS is among one of six new portfolio companies to receive investment.
The UNICEF Innovation Fund invests in technology start-ups from developing markets that are working on open source solutions to improve children’s lives. The Innovation Fund applies a venture capital approach to source solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. These solutions are clustered around $100billion industries in frontier technology spaces.
Check out www.unicefinnovationfund.org for more information – including real-time data – on each investment.
How would you describe your solution to children?
Remember when you were afraid to sleep because you thought something could be lurking under your bed waiting to hurt you? Growing up, anxieties and fears are inevitable. Yet for some children these fears are big challenges that prevent them from going about their daily lives and from having fun.
To help children overcome their anxieties and fears, Ideasis builds VivoosVR – a virtual reality (VR) tool designed to help people overcome these in a safe, controlled environment, where people can learn to deal with their fears.
*VR is a technology that simulates an environment – which can be interacted within a seemingly real or physical way by a person using equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.
How would you describe it, if your audience comprised of subject matter experts and investors?
In more detail, VivoosVR is a virtual treatment tool to assist in exposure therapy where participants are placed in a computer-generated 3D virtual world and guided through selected environments, situations and conditions. Computer graphics are displayed via new generation virtual reality headsets. Interaction with the virtual world is managed via motion sensing input devices. Physiological values of the participants are constantly monitored via GSR and pulse sensors. The system is designed to be used by qualified therapists — and our target participants are young people suffering from phobias and social integration difficulties.
What is unique about your solution and how is it different from what currently exists?
VivoosVR is an open source solution, being developed to be highly scalable and designed with a customizable structure in order to support both desktop and mobile VR systems. The system also incorporates physiological sensors to provide practitioners with objective data. In particular, VivoosVR is being developed and tested in cooperation with a team of psychology / psychiatry experts and clinicians.
Why does being open-source make your solution better?
Adopting an open source software model provides more flexibility and freedom. An open source solution can potentially be altered and improved by numerous contributors across the globe. We hope this will grant VivoosVr long term viability. Being open source allows us to have access to vast peer reviews which is important to ensure the security and integrity of the software in the long run. Finally, since no form of “vendor locks” are implemented, our solution is much more accessible for the general public.
How did you come up with your solution and what inspired you to form your company?
Our company, IDEASIS was founded by like minded individuals seeking to invest in new technologies that could have the potential to improve the lives of people. VivoosVr was born based on this principle. Our primary area of focus is R&D activities on technologies such as VR, AR and mixed reality. Our goal was to differentiate our company and products by focusing on areas which have been overlooked by the majority of the software industry. This is the main reason why we have diverged from more common uses of VR such as entertainment, architecture or marketing and focused on public mental health.
How did your team come together? What is your team’s MO and drive towards the problem you’re trying to solve?
The majority of our team members have worked together on various R&D projects in the past. So, we have a clear understanding of our working habits, expectations, strengths and weaknesses. We believe communication is the key aspect for effective project management. We do our best to encourage questions and achieve team awareness. One common drive that all our team members share is the drive to achieve and make change.
What do you plan on doing with UNICEF’s Innovation Fund investment and how will you use that to leverage raising follow-on investment?
UNICEF’s Venture Fund will be used to improve upon the existing prototype of VivoosVR. Our plan is to re-work the existing phobia simulations to comply with open source licensing standards and develop additional simulation content for phobias and social integration targeting specifically children. Working with UNICEF will also assist in building public awareness of our solution among the community, NGOs, and institutions.