I-Merse Research Group

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 behaviour among university students. Knowledge and skills suitable for developing experiential learning in immersive technologies and methods for studying behaviour in immersive technologies will be investigated.

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, totalling to 18M NOK. 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.