As part of the event, The Economist is holding a competition to find the most exciting media innovations that will - as the dedicated website puts it - "change the way marketers think about reaching consumers". The Ovei is one of 12 finalists, each of which will be presented in New York with a seven-minute pitch and three-minute Q&A. A panel of 200 media and marketing executives will vote on the winner, with the victor receiving "exclusive bragging rights" and a free subscription to The Economist.
Developed by Lee McCormack in conjunction with McLaren Applied Technologies, the Ovei is designed to allow a user to access, interact with and enjoy any media source. It provides 5.1 surround sound, ambient lighting, climate control and an HD flatscreen display. The private space provided by Ovei can be used for computer gaming, web browsing, watching films, listening to music, videoconferencing, learning, writing or composing.
Talking about Oculas's future plans for Ovei, McCormack told II: "We're planning to introduce the Ovei ESP into universities and schools across Europe, providing a focused learning environment that embraces the shift towards software-based learning." McCormack added that Oculas has worked with Riverdeep to run a successful pilot programme in schools, while Portsmouth University is currently conducting a separate research programme to assess the "psychological and physiological effects" inside the Ovei.