USN researchers with VR goggles
Lærer og elev prøver VR-briller i DigTekLab på campus Notodden

I-Merse is an interdisciplinary research group with an aim to advance effective utilization of immersive environments in education, the public and commercial sectors, and society as a whole.

Immersive technologies are beginning to shape our ways of living in a digital age by changing how we consume and process information. These changes will have a far reaching impact on how we live our lives and how we interact with the world around us - the ways in which we communicate, learn, work, shop and play - and will have a profound impact on community and societal interactions . The impending mass adoption of immersive technologies raises fundamental questions about the risks and opportunities afforded by the technology to its users and society as a whole.

Commercially available immersive technologies have developed at a rapid pace over the past decade in both technological capabilities and affordability for consumers.

However, there is a lack of knowledge on how usage may affect some users, ranging from children and adolescents to adults, seniors and persons with disabilities. How do we best design and use these technologies to maximize its benefits while minimizing threats and the introduction of new and potentially unforeseen problems. Our first objective is to explore possible ways of optimizing the use of commercially available immersive technologies for training, learning and understanding behavior among university students. Knowledge and skills suitable for developing experiential learning in immersive technologies and methods for studying behavior in immersive technologies will be investigated.

Research projects involving I-merse

Project 1: Development of a method for examining and adapting vision correction to optimize the utilization of XR technology in the industrial value chain

I-merse member involved and role: Rigmor Baraas, Project Lead

Project coordinator: Rodenstock Norge

Granting body: Norwegian Research Council, Regional Research Fund: Oslofjordfondet


Project 2: Mapping of universal design XR technology in primary schools (Kartlegging av universell utforming XR-teknologi i grunnskoler) 

I-merse member involved and role: Rigmor Baraas, Partner

Project coordinator: Norwegian Computing Center (Norsk Regnesentral)

Granting body: The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth, and Family Affairs (Bufdir)


Project 3: PROSIM – Professional education and simulation-based training

I-merse member involved and role: Astrid Camilla Wiig, work package co-leader

Project coordinator: Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Granting body: The Research Council of Norway


Project 4: OpenAR: Framework for augmented reality advanced maritime operations

I-merse member involved and role: Steven Mallam, work package leader

Project coordinator:  The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

Granting body: The Research Council of Norway


Project 5: Responsible Open Science in Europe Project

I-merse member involved and role: Rosemarie Bernabe, co-coordinator

Project coordinator: University of Oslo

Granting Body: European Commission

Collaborative research groups and centers

About the I-merse Research Group

The I-merse Group is an interdisciplinary research group on immersive technology which aims to advance and research on effective, equitable, and humane utilization of immersive environments in education, commercial sectors, public health, industry, and in society as a whole. The group was founded by Rigmor BaraasMarte Sørebø GulliksenKaren Stendal, and Salman Nazir. The four founders plus Rosemarie Bernabe (I-merse’s administrative coordinator) constitute the I-merse leadership, with Rigmor as the group leader. 

I-merse was founded with strategic funding and commitment from the USN Rectorate and the USN Board, totaling NOK 18M. The funds were allocated for the full three years of the four PhD projects and the 3-year salary of the group's administrative coordinator.