graduated early period
Founded in 2012 by
T. S Vineet Devaiah
The UNICEF Ventura Fund is proud to see portfolio member, Teliportme, graduate. They’ve come a long way – from numerous product iterations to deep diving into understanding their ecosystem better, strengthening their business model, and gearing up to take their solution to market. They’re now ready to collaborate at a larger scale – as they find new pathways to work with partners, investors, and the open source community.
Over the past 12 months our team built RemixVR, a platform that broadens the access to collaborate, create and share virtual reality (VR) content on a user-friendly platform.
Throughout our time with the UNICEF venture Fund we identified several gaps in the VR market in India, some of which are, but not limited to 1) access to VR hardware and 2) expanding educators knowledge of VR technology. To address these gaps, we expanded our platform to WebVR allowing the application to be used on lower-cost hardware as well as on laptops and mobile phones. To increase awareness of the use-cases of VR for teaching, our team conducted workshops with local Indian teachers to provide educators with new and exciting tools for the classroom.
Our primary mission is to provide and improve quality education, RemixVR allows us to empower educators to create engaging content for students, encourage multicultural collaboration and increase students access to experiential learning opportunities. On our platform, teachers can publish a VR lesson, which will immediately be accessible to any educator using RemixVR. To encourage collaboration, our team formulated the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) product as an additional feature to RemixVR. Cognizant of the constraints of timezones and traditional methods of connecting students (such as education exchange programs), RemixVR circumvents this by allowing students to create content on a shared platform and simultaneously react to their peers across the globe.
There have been two types of challenges while building RemixVR:
Marketing and sales challenges
Development challenges: Being a pioneer in any field requires overcoming significant developmental challenges, this happened with RemixVR too. Since we focused on ease of use for RemixVR, we spend a lot of time in removing all complexity from the frontend. We also worked on building a capable backend API that can be used to build different types of VR experiences using RemixVR’s template system.
We spent a lot of time early on to figure out the marketing position for RemixVR. Twitter has been huge marketing channel for us, on this platform we have been able to connect with teachers around the world. We also started a video series which showcased updates from each week. This has also been helpful in spreading the word out about RemixVR.
Quality education across different geographies at scale.
We initially built open source VR experiences using three.js to see the response from the broader education and developer communities. We received overwhelming positive feedback towards our prototype, we decided to take it further using VR for good, recognizing the vast potential to impact the learning process. Our first prototype included code based editing of our VR templates. So if a user wanted to customize their VR experience, they needed to edit the code.
After conducting user research, we experimented with different interfaces to simplify the process of VR content creation. We eventually settled on forms, making it possible for even the most non technical person to create a custom VR experience. So far, we’ve have gotten amazing feedback on this method, from our teachers. They loved the simplicity.
We conducted a teacher’s workshop in a school in Kerala, India. We loved that we were able to introduce Virtual Reality to a group of over 20 teachers. The teachers faces lit with awe when they experienced VR for the first time. They were excited to use VR in their classrooms.
Some of the teachers also had questions about how the teachers can control the students headsets and how they can monitor what students see. This feedback helped to shape the future steps and features for RemixVR.
They [teachers] understood the impact VR can have in their classrooms.
We’re in talks with different schools from around the world for introducing RemixVR into their schools. As a part of that, we’re looking to start a beta period in some of these schools. These partners will help us make RemixVR better for the global audience. We’ll continue to develop features requested by teachers over the next year. We’ll be introducing ways for the teacher to control their students VR experience. We’ll also work with more teachers to empower them to create VR content that can be viewed and shared across the world.
UNICEF venture Fund has been very helpful in connecting us with partners like UNCESCO for our Global Citizenship Education (GCED) product. They have also connected us with mentors in both technical and non-technical fields to help us move in the right direction.