Volume AI: augmenting the reality of learning

Who are Volume? 

  • Established in 1997, Volume currently has offices based in Plymouth, Wokingham, Sri Lanka and the USA.
  • Volume are experts in immersive experiences, learning and development, digital strategy, AI-powered chatbots and humanoid robotics.
  • Currently made up of 91 professionals across 3 countries.

Volume is a leader in AI-powered chatbots, immersive experiences and learning, and humanoid robots. Recognised as ‘The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For’ and one of the best companies to work with, Volume steers their clients through transformative times.

In recent years smartphones have appeared a hinderance to education institutions, such as universities and colleges, drawing student’s attention away from learning; endless scrolling of social media pages and camera filters muting the voice of the lecturer at the front of the room. However, technology companies, such as Volume, are creating innovative means to develop the use of a smartphone to more than just a distraction in the classroom.

In fact, former University of Plymouth student and current Head of Immersive Experiences at Volume Seth White alongside his colleague Dale Critchlow (a University of Plymouth alumnus), one of Volume’s XR Developers have developed a smartphone application which has the potential to create interactive, educational experiences within the classroom. This is an incredibly exciting project which has been made possible by the funding of the South West Creative Technology Network’s Immersion Development Grant, facilitated by The Bridge at The University of Plymouth.

The application 

Volume have used the Immersion Development Grant to create a multi-user, augmented reality app available on smartphones, which allows multiple users to examine and interact with an augmented reality, anatomical 3D model. The 3D model occupies the same space for all users and allows any interactions with the model to be viewed by both users in real time. 

The interactive element of the application can also be altered for a classroom environment in which the teacher would be the only user to be able to activate areas on the model. However, the students will still be able to view the activations made by the teacher and examine the model from different perspectives by moving around the space the 3D model occupies. This application has endless potential for education purposes, creating memorable and in-depth demonstrations to students, doctors and nurses.

The benefit of using immersive technology in education

Immersive technology is a new and constantly developing area with a lot of potential waiting to be discovered. Volume believes that the use of immersive technology in learning solutions even has the potential to increase memory retention.

“Because you’re in the headset and you’ve got the sound, you feel that same intensity and you can get the same emotional responses as you would if you were actually in that situation.” – Seth White, Head of Immersive Experiences, Volume.

For example, a user could potentially experience the same adrenaline rush in an VR burning building as in the real-life situation. As a result of the technology being so immersive and feeling so real to the user, they are more likely to retain the experience and as a result the skills they learnt.

The benefits of the SWCTN development grant

The funding Volume have received through the grant has enabled the company to refine their skills, develop in-house talent and explore a new avenue of technology. Furthermore, through working with the University of Plymouth, the development grant has given Volume the opportunity to strengthen bonds with the University. Through this bond, Volume are able to grow awareness of their company as a local employer for graduates interested in working with immersive and innovative technology.


“We hope this project will enable more opportunities for us to push our technology boundaries and work even closer with the University of Plymouth moving forward.” – Seth White, Head of Immersive Experiences, Volume

Working with the University of Plymouth

Volume have a strong belief in the talent and capabilities of graduates from The University of Plymouth.

“The quality of the students coming out of the University of Plymouth is one of the biggest benefits of having a tech company based in Plymouth.” – Seth White, Head of Immersive Experiences, Volume.

Volume actively targets students who come from the University when looking for staff as they know the students have a strong understanding of what the company needs and are aware that the University creates a high standard of graduates. Incorporated in their support of local students, Volume offers a work placement initiative, the Volume Academy. 

The placements range from one week to a full year and offers students the opportunity to gain experience of what it’s like working in a company such as Volume. This work placement opportunity also helps Volume spot local talent.

“If a student comes to work with us for a placement and they get on well with the team and we like their work, we keep in touch with them so that when they graduate there is potential for new employment there.” – Seth White, Head of Immersive Experiences, Volume.

Through the support of The Bridge at The University of Plymouth and the South West Creative Technology Network’s Immersion Grant, Volume have been able to develop an application which broadens the horizon for immersive, interactive learning and opens future potential for multi-user, augmented reality applications.

About the SWCTN

A £6.5 million project designed to drive the growth of the regional creative economy. The SWCTN brings together universities and industrial partners; pooling their research and innovation expertise to develop cutting-edge practices, techniques and products in creative digital technologies. Find out more about the SWCTN.