A big year for Immerse

2022 has been a banner year for Immerse.

Just a few days after Immerse’s CEO, Quinn Taber, was named Forbes 30 Under 30, Immerse became a two-time award winner at the 2022 VR Awards in Rotterdam, Netherlands - a black-tie event known as the “Academy Awards of the Metaverse.”

A photo of the invited guests at the VR Awards 2022, sitting in rows in an amphitheater, dressed in black-tie outfit and watching the Award ceremony.

Being recognized by dozens of judges working in the VR industry for “Innovative Company of the Year” and “VR Education and Training App of the Year” makes this an unforgettable week in an already unprecedented year for the Immerse team. 

Back in March 2022, the Immerse team raised a $9 million Series A backed by social impact investors around the globe. 

Immerse was named Meta’s #1 language education partner in 2022  and launched the first consumer-facing social VR language immersion app on the Meta Quest platform.  

Immerse is the only VR app across all VR devices that offers live, instructor-led language classes and conversation events for a community of thousands of Members living across the globe. Now with thousands of users, multiple brand partners, monthly product updates, and a 2x increase in staff, Immerse has become one of the strongest social VR companies in history.

Innovative VR Company of the Year Winner Immerse VR Awards brought to you by AIXR
VR Education and Training of the Year, 6th International VR Awards

The Immerse origin story

The idea for Immerse was born in a Syrian refugee slum in 2017. Three years of full immersion in the Middle East while working with local NGO partners had made future Immerse founder Quinn Taber conversationally fluent in Arabic. It also made him keenly aware of how inherently social the nature of language learning is.

He knew firsthand that immersion was the key to learning a language fluently, but also that moving abroad to master a language was an opportunity out of reach for most of the world’s people.

Around the same time, VR technology was on the rise, and Quinn found himself wondering, 

"What if virtual reality could be used for good to democratize language immersion for learners around the globe?" 

Soon after, Quinn moved back to California, raised angel investment from social impact investors, and started Immerse with three co-founders who shared a vision to cultivate human connection by making language immersion accessible to everyone.

A selfie taken by a young man seated on the floor next to a young boy in the living quarters of a family in the Middle East

The evolution of a mission  

The reason immersion is key to language learning is because human brains are inherently set up to learn language through environmental and social context. This makes social VR an ideal place for learning. In fact, studies have demonstrated that language learners understand new vocabulary better and remember it longer when they learn it in VR as opposed to in traditional classroom contexts.

And not only does VR provide the ideal environment for language learning, its virtual nature means that it can be accessed anywhere there is internet. A language immersion experience can be brought to any corner of the globe. VR opens access to effective language education even to those unable to travel to another country due to cost, disability, family obligations, work, visa restrictions, or, as Immerse soon realized, pandemic restrictions. Thus, language immersion in VR can truly democratize effective language learning.

Recognizing the unparalleled potential of a live VR language education app grounded in research, Immerse pulled together a team and built a VR environment where learners could move around inside virtual spaces together, interacting naturally with objects in the environment and with one another. They created settings like an airport and a park and stocked them with movable, interactive objects so learners could engage in real-life language interactions such as going through airport security or buying lunch from a food cart. 

Avatars going through security in a virtual airport

In their quest to offer the most effective language immersion possible, Immerse hired in-house education and language learning experts and partnered with researchers from universities around the world. Now, product development, education, and business operations all work together holistically to achieve Immerse’s ultimate goal of cultivating human connection and increasing access to language immersion.

This platform was initially used to support language schools around the world. Suddenly, students were able to experience authentic language immersion without the necessity of travel. Immerse made it possible for them to experience the language they were learning in an authentic context and use it to genuinely communicate about the experiences they were having.

Gradually, the Immerse team realized that they had the unique capacity to grow language immersion via virtual reality better than anyone, thanks to their expertise, resources, and experience in the industry. They restructured their language school relationships into referral partners, continued bolstering their research partnerships, and launched the first direct-to-consumer language immersion platform in the metaverse. 

Immerse is committed to continuously iterating the product, introducing new features, and launching new languages.

Avatars playing with beach balls near a whiteboard on the beach

2022 Innovative VR Company of the Year

Immerse is hugely honored to be winner of not one, but two 6th International VR Awards in 2022. Being named as the 2022 Innovative VR Company of the Year by AIXR is a particularly significant distinction. Immerse existed before the metaverse became a mainstream conversation - and even before Facebook rebranded to Meta. So to be recognized for all the hard work of the past five years to get where we are now validates our mission of cultivating human connection.

As shared by Christian Rowe, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Immerse, in the VR Awards acceptance speech:  

“Immerse is grateful to be building a redemptive and meaningful use case for social VR technology in the metaverse. Thank you to all the judges and the VR Awards team for this incredible recognition. The best days are still ahead of us. Thank you!”

Lastly, the Immerse team wants to thank AIXR, all VR Awards staff and judges, and Alex Meland (aka Alex VR), co-host of the Between Realities podcast, for accepting these awards on our behalf.

Two middle-aged men dressed in black tuxedos. The man on the right is wearing glasses and sticking his tongue out. He is holding and award. The men on the left is Alex Meland. He is smiling and holidng the two awards Immerse received, one in each hand.

More on Immerse:

Learn more about the Immerse platform.

Explore the research behind Immerse.

Watch the VR Awards videos

Read how to provide Immerse memberships for your students or employees, or become an Immerse brand partner

Press Contact: contact@immerse.online

A banner that says Immerse: Start your free 14-day trial today and shows a thumbs up in front of a shelf filled with books, flags, a globe, and a Quest 3 VR headset