Immersive Reality: Evidence Based Research

Since its inception, Immersive Reality Ltd has sought to engage with various research projects to further the knowledge base on the application of immersive technology in education, special needs and mental health and wellbeing. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of immersive technologies in mental wellbeing and by extension special needs, such as Autism and ADHD, as well as the social and emotional needs of all users. In 2021, we commissioned Evi Bali, a research psychologist and PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow, to consolidate existing research in Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR). 


A draft summary of the research is shown below. If you would like a full copy of this research, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page – this page was published on July 21st, 2022 and our research is ongoing.

Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR)

IVR has a rich sensory fidelity and immersive features that enable users to feel psychologically located in the simulated environment by experiencing it as real. (Bailey, 2017)


IVR offers multisensory experiences that:

  • Replicate the physical world
  • Create scenarios that are impossible or dangerous in the physical world
  • Create personalised scenarios based on participants’ needs or will


  • IVR connects human senses with technology, creating the illusion of being embedded in the content, by mimicking realistic and compelling scenarios (Lorenzo, 2016)
  • Enhances the user’s sensory capabilities
  • High interactivity with the participants
  • Develops the imagination
  • Promotes learning through various roles that occur in represented social situations
  • Experience activities and places that participants would not be able to see in real life e.g. outer space.

IVR VS Other Technology:

IVR has the ability to stimulate the senses of the participants and present the information in a more realistic and authentic manner, resulting in increased interest and willingness to interact with the VR content or environment. (Allcoat & Adrian, 2018; Mantovani & Castelnuovo, 2003) Students can learn more easily, become more motivated, and be engaged because of the realistic situations that VR content offers over other technology platforms such as a 2D tablet or computer.

Projects with Universities

Immersive Reality Ltd has also engaged with Universities to enhance our knowledge even further, as well as to develop new and innovative projects.


XR Stories and Sheffield Hallam University

Immersive Reality took part in XR stories, an internship program in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University. The project developed immersive technology and media for applications in storytelling. 


Immersive Reality developed an immersive and interactive picture gallery where students can engage and learn about art forms and create their own artwork within the immersive space. This project supports learning, empathy and collaboration.

Sheffield Hallam University and AWRC (Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre)

Sheffield Hallam has created a dedicated Wellbeing Research Centre. Immersive Reality was chosen, through a competitive process, to be an associate participant with access through mentoring to leading NHS professionals and academics in the field of immersive technology and mental wellbeing. 


Please fill out the form below to download a full copy of our research, which is being updated regularly. 


A full and more detailed list of references can be found in the downloadable version of the research.

  • Allcoat, D., & Adrian, von M. (2018). Learning in virtual reality: Effects on performance, emotion and engagement. Research in Learning Technology, 26, 1–13., 1063519.
  • Bailey, J. (2017). Immersive Virtual Reality and the Developing Child In book: Cognitive Development in Digital Contexts, DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809481-5.00009-2.
  • Lorenzo, G. et al. (2016). Design and application of an immersive virtual reality system to enhance emotional skills for children with autism spectrum disorders. Computers & Education, 98, , Pages 192-205.
  • Mantovani, F., & Castelnuovo, G. (2003). Sense of presence in virtual training: Enhancing skills acquisition and transfer of knowledge through learning experience in virtual environments. Being There: Concepts, Effects and Measurement of User Presence in Synthetic Environments, January, 168–181.

Last updated 06.09.2023.