An Irish education technology start-up has announced that it has secured just over €100,000 in funding through the Horizon 2020 SME Innovation Associate Programme. Zeeko, which is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, will use the funding to launch a new research project to evaluate the side effects of virtual reality (VR) technology on children’s health.
The project will be led by Dr Marina Everri, a social psychologist who has recently been appointed as Head of Research at Zeeko, and will involve recruiting a group of teachers, parents and children to participate in an ethnographic study.
Speaking of the research, Dr Everri, commented, “In reality very little is known about the impact of VR on body, cognition, and social relations, especially during a child’s development.
“More research, such as the research we are about to commence, is needed to understand the interplay of children’s individual characteristics, their relational and cultural context, and the opportunities and challenges offered by VR technology. This will be done by examining VR side effects in the areas of education, environment behaviour, empathy and health directly involving children, their families and teachers at each stage of the research process. This will allow us to find the best solutions for children, their families and teachers.”