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Outreach News

Friday, 03 June 2022

ICN2 presents the VRainCom App at the ECSITE Annual Conference

by Àlex Argemí

VRainCom is an application to present through virtual reality the results of the BrainCom project, led by the ICN2. Although it has not yet been formally promoted, it is being shared in science communication events such as the prestigious ECSITE conference.

ECSITE is a network of research centres and institutions which connects, inspires and empowers science engagement organisations and professionals, extending the reach and strengthening the impact of their work. It brings together more than 320 organisations, all committed to inspiring people with science and technology and driving science engagement forward with professional events, projects and publications. Its Annual Conference is a yearly meeting point for this community.

In a session to showcase innovative communication projects, Àlex Argemí, Head of the Marketing and Communication Department, had a slot to introduce VRainCom. It is an app inviting users to learn about the results of BrainCom, a European project led by the ICN2 together with nation and international partners, by leading them into an immersive experience inside 3 of the partner institutions, where they can visit research labs and meet experts. The experience concludes with some questions to trigger reflection around the ethical implications of the technology developed by BrainCom.

BrainCom focuses on the restoration of speech and communication in aphasic patients suffering from upper spinal cord, brainstem, or brain damage. With applications beyond the ones explored by BrainCom, graphene-based neurotechnology devices have the potential to impact deeply the management of conditions such as epilepsy, ictus and neurodegenerative diseases. The moral and ethical implications have been intensively debated within the project and the scientific community, but it is also a topic to be debated with society.

Stay tuned to learn more about VRainCom, which is already available for Android and iOs. An adapter to view the app in immersive mode is highly recommended.

This is the short presentation delivered by Àlex Argemí: