After two years of tirelessly learning Arabic within the confines of a classroom, Quinn Taber quickly realized that speaking one of the toughest languages would not be attainable within an academic setting. Instead, he decided to absorb the language by living alongside refugees in several different countries, truly immersing himself in the culture and community. And, in the process, found that language learning was much more achievable through a hands-on experience. This adventure inspired Taber to establish Immerse, a virtual reality tutoring platform that provides users with a firsthand experience of the language they desire to learn.
“We really believe in the human element – the speaking and listening, because when you do that, you get all the senses engaged. Whereas in reading, it’s only one little part of that language,” said Taber, Immerse chief executive officer. “So, the thing I always say is ‘immerse yourself.’ Try to live the life of someone that only has that language.”
Whether it is Disneyland or the Eiffel Tower, the Immerse software application will empower users with the ability to travel to any desired location using a VR headset to completely plunge themselves into the environment. A tutor is present throughout the experience, acting as a companion for conversation and guidance.
To help this product make it to market, Immerse will be partnering with Oculus, a company that specializes in VR. The startup will be releasing their application simultaneously with the launch of Oculus’ latest product, Oculus Quest, an innovative wireless VR headset customized for gaming and hands-on adventures.
Immerse joined UCI Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder Program, an incubator designed to provide support and resources for startups, in 2017 and has been utilizing the program’s many resources to move along their innovation.
“The Cove has helped with marketing plans, pitch decks, product development cycles and more,” said Taber. “The biggest help is the Experts-in-Residence, they have been pivotal.”
To learn more about the Immerse experience, click here.
*Featured Photo courtesy of: Quinn Taber.
Pictured is Taber, CEO of Immerse, overlooking the Yemeni border at sunrise.