Enhance VR Brain Training Launches Official China Version

LISBON, PORTUGAL–Virtuleap debuts its Enhance VR brain training app in China this week in partnership with the HTC Viveport China team. The new release will launch first for the HTC Vive Focus Plus, followed by the Oculus Quest on the SideQuest store, and the Oculus Rift on the official Oculus store. The new localization system, which currently supports English and Mandarin, will additionally support German, French, and Portuguese in the first quarter of 2020.

Enhance VR offers a daily workout of mini-games designed to assess and train different cognitive skills such as memory, problem-solving, flexibility, and speed, as well as motor skills, spatial orientation, and spatial audio awareness. The initial release includes three games—Memory Wall, React, and Hide & Seek—with two new titles planned to be added to the games library each month, with a target of 20 games by the end of 2020.

Brain training games, which have become popular during the past decade thanks to screen-based apps like Lumosity, Peak, and Elevate, has made cognitive assessment and training highly accessible to the general population. But until now, there has been no conclusive evidence to indicate that playing these games on your smartphone or any screen-based format can help to improve your cognitive functions.

“The more you play Sudoku, the better you’ll get at playing Sudoku, but it won’t necessarily help you remember your grocery list, or get better at paying your taxes.” says Amir Bozorgzadeh, CEO at Virtuleap. “In order for brain training games to actually work, the science is clear: it’s critical to engage the whole body into believing the experience is real, and that’s where VR comes in.”

Last month, Virtuleap released its first industry white paper, entitled “Enhance VR: a multisensory approach to cognitive assessment and training,” citing 74 peer-reviewed studies to support the hypothesis that the ‘embodiment’ of VR allows multiple learning systems to be engaged in synchronicity.

“VR systems allow for the integration of proprioceptive, visual, and motor information (Sanchez-Vives and Slater, 2005). Thus, VR enables a stronger sensory immersion that promotes higher cognitive processing and learning (Bailenson et al., 2008; Gamito et al., 2011; Coughlan et al., 2019) and yields ecologically valid environment scenarios with precise control over the experimental variables (Bohil et al., 2011; Parsons, 2015). For all these reasons the use of VR has become an interesting tool in the study of embodiment in neuroscience.” – excerpt from white paper.

The group that stands to benefit the most from the cognitive training and neurorehabilitation applications is the aging population, which is why Virtuleap partnered last month with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to integrate five brain training games into their Alcove VR app. ‘Memory Wall,’ a game that helps players exercise their maximum “cognitive load” by memorizing larger and larger sequences of patterns, was showcased in the AARP’s demo of Alcove last week at CES.

Enhance VR also pairs with a data dashboard that organizations can use to manage and monitor the cognitive performance of their users over time. In order to help extend its reach to healthcare-based organizations, educational institutions, as well as companies with human performance programs, Virtuleap recently joined the StartUp Health network, Oculus ISV Enterprise Program, and the Qualcomm XR Enterprise Program.

Virtuleap is a health and education VR startup based in Lisbon, Portugal. Its aim is to elevate the cognitive assessment and training industry with the help of emerging technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence.