Memory Palaces in Virtual Reality: Crowdfunding Success for New Ed Tech Platform
“Macunx VR was backed by 168 people and raised almost four times its original goal”
The Macunx VR crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter closed on Wednesday 20th July. The new platform for building memory palaces in Virtual Reality plays to the strengths of our visual and spatial memories, and will make learning and remembering things easier than ever before.
Macunx VR’s 168 backers pledged a total of £11,868, seeing the new ed tech platform hit 395% of its original funding goal. Rewards are courses developed by Linguisticator, Macunx VR’s parent company, and range from short memory course modules to custom-built memory palaces.
Macunx VR will allow people to use the power of their visual and spatial memories to learn new subjects quickly and easily. The demo, developed in collaboration with students at the University of Westminster, shows how St John’s College in Cambridge can be used as a memory palace to remember the names of the first seven kings of England. Applications range from language learning and medical study to history and geography.
“We are thrilled that Macunx VR has generated so much interest and enthusiasm through our Kickstarter”, says Dr Aaron Ralby, founder of Macunx VR and CEO of Linguisticator. “The ultimate aim of the project is to change the way we learn large and complex subjects. Rather than watering subjects down to make them easier, we want to empower people to learn rigorous disciplines by unlocking the potential of their spatial minds.”
Inspired by his PhD research, Aaron began applying the memory techniques used by medieval monks and scholars to language learning. By encoding textual and numerical information into a spatial framework – a memory palace – monks and scholars in the Middle Ages were able to retain and recall enormous amounts of text.
Aaron has been teaching learners registered on Linguisticator how to build memory palaces to achieve full grammar and vocabulary retention since 2011 and has recently been using the technique to teach dyslexic children in Cambridge how to spell complex words and retain strings of numbers. The trials, run by Linguisticator, have seen great success and suggest that Macunx VR could have huge potential in helping dyslexic individuals circumvent learning challenges they face.
The Macunx VR platform will be free to use and open to anyone. Eventually, guided modules will also be available to walk you through building memory palaces for specific subjects, from the kings and queens of Britain to the entire anatomy of the body. Users will also be able to register as instructors and create and market their own guided modules. Online courses in memory and how to build memory palaces for various subjects – including several languages – are already available on Linguisticator’s website.
About Macunx VR and Linguisticator
Macunx VR is an immersive, educational platform under development at Linguisticator Ltd, a startup based in Cambridge, UK. Linguisticator specialises in the creation of online language and memory courses.