Join the First Live Q&A and Demo Session with the Zoe Team

We’re excited to organize the first Live Q&A session with the Zoe Team. We’ll go over a live demo of Zoe and discuss our plans for the platform. We’d love to have you all join us!
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Wednesday November 17th, 2021 at 10 AM PT / 7 PM CET
Register Here

StartEngine Campaign Launched

Dear Zoe Community,

We are very excited to announce that our equity crowdfunding campaign in partnership with StartEngine has now launched!

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Equity crowdfunding allows the general public to invest in early-stage companies in exchange for partial ownership. Investments start at $200 up to $50’000. We have some great perks attached to each investment – from highly discounted Zoe Licenses to Virtual Reality Packages and more.
Many of you are already familiar with our platform. However, you might not be so familiar with our business model, financial planning, and roadmap which can all be found on our StartEngine campaign page.
Campaign Page
Our Campaign Page will provide updates and a more thorough explanation of how we plan to move forward.
We’ve always built Zoe by listening to our community and are thrilled to invite educators & institutions to be part of this adventure. Together, we can help new generations acquire the skills they need to secure their future career path!
– The Zoe Founding Team
Emi
Maria
Syl
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Zoe now available in Oculus App Lab

Along with their Quest line’s newest update, Oculus just launched App Lab, an easier way to distribute apps for Quest. No more sideloading necessary!
We’re very grateful to have been selected by Oculus to appear in this first batch. Previous versions of Zoe had to be installed via SideQuest, which also required the headset to be plugged into a computer – not to mention the initial need to set up Developer Mode. All this is now unnecessary, thanks to this new method of installing.
We took this opportunity to also update Zoe and add a feature the community has been asking for some time: environments. 'Scene Setup' can now be accessed from the main menu, and you can change the environment of each of your scenes.
Now, to install Zoe on a Quest, all you have to do is log in to Zoe.com on your mobile device’s internet browser and click on the “Open in Oculus App” button on this page. This will launch the Oculus app and you will be able to install Zoe from there.
To read more about App Lab and the first apps available, head on to this article.
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List of the available apps in App Lab. Congrats to all!

Zoe 2020 in Review

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What a year to launch a new education platform! When we launched Zoe in the first months of 2020 we obviously did not know how this year would turn out, and we couldn’t be more impressed by our community. We can not thank you enough for trusting us with your students' learning experience and taking the leap to try something new in such a difficult year!

Through this recap we want to celebrate your students' creativity and their voices. And first, here's a quick summary of some of the big things that happened this year:
  • After 3 months of work and planning at RLab, we launched our first Pilot program with public and private schools in the US in early 2020.
  •  In the Summer, schools gave their first Zoe lessons from home and the student projects were showcased virtually at Comic-Con.
  • In Fall we partnered with Unity to publish the 'VR for Education' series on Unity Learn.
  • In Winter, we launched an international initiative where students from all over the world will collaborate to build their vision of 2030 through all of next year. Thanks to the support of Compisternli and the Gebert Rüf Stifung foundation, schools in Switzerland have already started their projects.
  • We started our adventure with 1 teacher and cannot be more humbled with our growing community of 780 students and teachers today!

We couldn't have done it without our community, partners, investors, advisors and talented team!

Made by our Community

Core Memories by Brenda- Greenwich Alliance - Summer 2020

Mental Health by Alexis and Sam - Downey School District

COVID Bowling by Alani and Diego - Downey School District

The power of Leadership by Larry - Greenwich Alliance - Summer 2020

Walking Women by Melany and Alyssa - Downey School District


We are so excited for what’s to come in 2021. Our amazing team has been working on a mobile version of Zoe, the possibility for teachers to create their own virtual classrooms to connect remotely with students and many more exciting new features we can’t wait for all of you to try!
– The Zoe Team
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Introducing the VR for Education courses by Zoe on Unity Learn

Our goal is to empower students to unleash their creativity while learning key 21st Century Skills, developing their computational thinking and problem solving skills.

As Unity’s mission outlines - The world is a better place with more creators in it -  and we could not agree more. There is no better way to assess students understanding of a topic by asking them to create their own experiences and become master practitioners!

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Introducing a professional-level game engine such as Unity to first-time students who might not have the confidence to code or learn a new software can be a complex task. It is with those students in mind that we built an extension to our Zoe app called Zoe for Unity, an approachable, no-code plugin allowing creative minds to build their own VR experiences in Unity.

With Zoe for Unity, students get the chance to learn some of the key coding logic skills in the background, build up  confidence and create a product of their own that they can proudly share and showcase. It’s designed to be accessible to high-school students up to academic researchers who want to focus on the topic of their research rather than having to become a full stack software engineer.

The Zoe VR for Education course is divided into three different tutorials which range from the basics to building complex interactive VR experiences.

Tutorial 1: Getting Started with Zoe for Unity

This tutorial is designed to get your students started with Unity, VR, and Zoe. We recommend asking your students to go through each exercise one by one before moving to a more complex project.
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At the end of this tutorial students will know:
  • How to Install Unity and their VR headset;
  • How to turn 3D models into interactive objects;
  • How to animate 3D models based on user input;
  • How to snap objects on top of each other;
  • How to launch instructions or audio based on user inputs.

Tutorial 2: Building an Interactive Solar System

In this tutorial students will learn how to reproduce the Solar System, allow the user to navigate in between planets, trigger their revolutions and learn interesting facts about them.
At the end of the project, students will know about the planets of our solar system, how rotations and revolutions work, and experience in real-time the huge distances between planets. They will have learned how to use scaling to adapt different kinds of units and how to program behaviours based on conditions/events.
Students will be prepared for designing a VR experience, having learned a few tips around UX and how to guide users in VR.

Tutorial 3: Building a sustainable farming experience

In this tutorial, students will learn how to reproduce an ancient and sustainable planting system called the “Three Sisters”. They will need to research what is a system in nature, how plants can perform different tasks to help each other grow and how to best use nature's capabilities to produce our own food.

They will also learn how to use our Event based programming system and work on their problem solving and iteration skills.

We’re super excited to bring Zoe for Unity to the educator community. If you still haven't done it, sign-up for a free teacher account to give Zoe a try!

Unity Learn live session on December 1st, 2020
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Join Emilie Joly in Unity Learn’s live session Teaching XR Development on Tuesday, December 1 at 5PM PT.

XR (Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality) will have a major impact on society in the coming decades. Teaching 3D development skills with Unity will open up a world of possibilities for students across a range of industries and applications. Hear from experts in the field about the opportunities for students with XR and inspiring Unity educators who’ll share strategies and resources for supporting students learning XR development.

#2030: Swiss and US classrooms leveraging VR to create their own vision of the future


LAUSANNE (October 21st, 2020) – In a time where digital technologies are becoming a key part of education systems globally, the need to empower students to become creators and develop key 21st Century skills such as collaboration, creativity, and computational thinking is more important than ever. 
Designed in partnership with Swiss-US startup apelab, CompiSternli, and San Diego based educator Kwaku Aning, the learning program will bring a groundbreaking virtual reality learning to secondary schools in Switzerland and the United States. 
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Funded by the Gebert Rüf Foundation through their Digital Education Pioneer program and supported by DartLabs, the project will allow swiss students in 7-9th grade to develop their own vision of what the future of can look like using apelab’s immersive learning platform Zoe. The project starts with a technical training program for teachers delivered by Apelab co-founder Maria Beltran, followed by a talk from Kwaku Aning, Director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking at SDJA speaking about his own experience using Virtual Reality with High School Students. 
Zoe allows students to build their own Virtual Reality interactive experiences and stories from scratch.
The following swiss schools are the first to kick-off the program in November 2020: the Obersee Bilingual School, Oberstufe Wasseramt Ost, Schule Meiringen, Schulen Hünenberg, Schulen Steinhausen, and Volksschulgemeinde Wigoltingen. Each will be focusing on imagining the school of the future. The program will be supervised by Rahel Tschopp, who has been working in bringing digital literacy in swiss schools for many years:

"Young students are best placed to tell us what education should look like! Thanks to this program, they will be able to present their ideas of what the future of school can be. This project has a tremendous amount of potential to finally give students a voice while learning how to use new techniques to construct their own vision of the future."

Rahel Tschopp, Founder @CompiSternli

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The program will start with a training program lead by Maria Beltran, apelab co-founder using the latest Oculus Quest 2 headsets.

Within the next school year, teachers and students will have the opportunity to exchange on their vision for the future of education, climate change and work to solve real world problems and share their own perspective. 

In the world we live in it's more important than ever to give a voice to younger generations. We will learn a lot from their personal vision across different cultures. Using immersive technologies will allow them to truly bring this into their own worlds and stories. We are already looking to extend the project to more countries and looking forward to seeing what the students come up with!

Emilie Joly, Co-Founder @apelab

All the virtual reality experiences created by the students will be showcased during an international showcase in the second part of 2021. There is still the opportunity for new schools to join the adventure. If you are part of a secondary school and interested to join the 2030 project, you can apply here:

Digital Education Pioneers: My School 2030; Supported by the Gebert Rüf Stiftung.

apelab: Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

CompiSternli: Website | Facebook | LinkedIn

DartLabs: Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Zoe: Website | Twitter | LinkedIn


Immersive learning platform Zoe showcases interactive experiences made by High School students as part of first-ever Comic-Con@Home


LOS ANGELES (July 22, 2020) – Zoe, a learning tool allowing teachers & students to create interactive 3D worlds from anywhere in the world is showcasing virtual experiences built by high school students as part of the FutureTechLive!@Comic-Con@Home experience in partnership with Unity. In this unique experience attendees can explore new worlds in mixed reality, unleash their imagination, and create some magic! 

Comic-Con is all virtual this year for the first time in over 50 years, it runs online the same dates it was supposed to be live, July 23-26. The Zoe virtual showcase features projects created during summer programs starting this Comic-Con weekend in partnership with the SDJA, The Bayha Group and Downey Unified School District.

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"This is a great opportunity for students to use immersive technologies as a way to have a voice in spaces that students don’t have often access to,"  says educator Kwaku Aning, Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking (CIET) at the San Diego Jewish Academy. "We’re very proud of the diversity of design and how dynamic the projects are." 
The camp at SDJA is led by Elizabeth Nebo, who has embraced the immersive space using her skills as an arts and ceramics teacher to help students create 3D interactive experiences. Each group will have a place in the Zoe virtual showroom located inside Comic Con’s FutureTechLive! application to present their design process from their ideas to storyboarding, 3D modelling and programming their final experience using Zoe in just a few days! 
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From a training program helping farmers clean their polluted soil to re-creating personal life stories, with Zoe students learn how to transform their ideas into stories and games, successfully transmitting their knowledge to others.
“We’re excited that our learning platform Zoe is being showcased in this one-of-a-kind virtual event”, says Emilie Joly, co-founder of apelab, the company behind Zoe. “Teachers have been working very hard to keep students engaged during school closures; we are so proud of their energy and what they've been able to achieve. We hope to bring many more opportunities like this one to inspire younger generations to stay creative and thrive through their learning process.”

The Zoe showcase will be featuring more additional projects during the second week, including the exciting work led by Gaspare Lipari, Terry McCabe & Michele Giorlando at the Western Middle School during their Unbound Innovations Summer program.

At the center of Zoe’s virtual space in Comic Con’s FutureTechLive!, a pod also allows visitors to launch a free version of Zoe VR for the next 30 days on Oculus Rift. Now it’s your turn to be creative!

Download and access the FutureTechLive experience here.

#ZoeXR #SDCC@home, #madewithunity, #FTL2020, #futuretechlive

FutureTechLive! is also presenting a panel on world building as part of the panels of Comic-Con@Home:
World-Builders: The Evolution of Immersive Entertainment

Sunday, July 26 at 3:00 PM

Isabelle Riva, Head of Media and Entertainment Innovations, Unity Technology
Ted Schilowitz, Futurist, Paramount Pictures
Kwaku Aning, Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking
Emilie Joly, Co-Founder & CEO, Apelab (Zoe in-VR Creation Software)
Brooks Brown, Co-Founder & CCO, ViRvii (Bringing Virtual Reality to Art)
Asad J. Malik, CEO & Founder, IRIC / JADU (Augmented Reality Storytelling)
Moderator: David Bloom, Senior Contributor, Forbes; journalist covering entertainment tech


Introducing Zoe: A Remote Learning Solution allowing kids to build their own interactive immersive experiences


LOS ANGELES - Apelab, a VR/AR software company based in Geneva, Switzerland, and Los Angeles, has launched Zoe, a remote learning solution empowering educators in K-12 & Higher Education to teach interactive 3D, VR/AR creation & programming.

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Image of 8th grade student using Zoe VR and College Student using Zoe for Unity.                ©Apelab 2020. All rights reserved. 

“With a majority of students worldwide working from home, the need for engaging learning solutions is more pressing than ever,” said Emilie Joly, CEO of apelab. “Yet, educators are struggling to find solutions that can empower students to become more than passive consumers while learning key skills for the future of work. At apelab we believe immersive technologies are amazing candidates to fulfil that need.”

The core team at apelab has been working together for almost a decade. Zoe is the result of years of research, design, and development for new technologies. “You can call the Apelab team pioneers in VR/AR creation and storytelling,” said Sophie Lamparter, investor and CEO at Dart. “They have adeptly navigated a nascent space with their own ingenuity and with the right industry partnerships.”

With Zoe, students are now able to build entire immersive experiences from scratch, quickly and without any prior coding knowledge.

“The thing that impresses me the most about Zoe is its focus on getting students to create their own experiences" said Jessica Millstone, co-founder of the New York EdTech Meetup & General Manager of Copper Wire Ventures, who also recently joined the team as an investor." For the teacher or school leader who is committed to transforming kids from media consumers into producers of stories that reflect their own dreams and ideas, Zoe is exactly the kind of tool they’ll want to make available to their students.”

A Unique Visual Programing Software

Zoe features a series of tools that students can download directly from the zoe.com website and a whole section is dedicated to educator training. Professional Learning, tutorials, and resources are available online and cover everything from collaboration to conception, interaction design, storyboarding, prototyping, coding and testing using AR/VR for learning.

Today, Zoe includes a plugin for the popular game engine Unity, and a standalone application for the Oculus Quest. The team believes the best way to create a VR experience is to do it directly from the headset. “To be able to design an experience in the same medium as its target platform makes a lot of sense, and removes a barrier between the creator and the user,” said Syl, co-founder and design director. Using the Zoe VR app, students can import 3D models, build their environment and visually program fully interactive experiences.

“Zoe is unique because it’s leveraging our internal interaction API tailor-made for immersive technologies,” said Maria Beltran, co-founder and head of Product Development. We had the chance to work with major VR/AR industry partners over the years and we've poured all of our experience into building Zoe.”

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Screenshot of the Zoe VR App interaction menu                                                                ©Apelab 2020. All rights reserved. 

Students are able to define what will happen to their 3D models when the user does a specific action or a sequence of actions. They can trigger animations, sounds, behaviors based on a dozen different conditions made for VR/AR and an infinite number of actions. At any point, they can test their experience and make the necessary adjustments.

A similar logic can be accessed on the Zoe for Unity plugin which makes it very easy to setup interactive scenes within the popular game engine. 

How Schools are using Zoe today

The apelab team is working with a selected group of schools and educators in both the private and public US system. Educators are working on a wide variety of projects in collaboration with teachers in Art, Math, Social Impact, Computer Science classes. “Our 8th graders will be using ZOE to make their Capstone Projects come to life, to promote action, build empathy and foster community around their cause,” said Gaspare Lipari, teacher at the Western Middle School in Greenwich.

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Collection of various Virtual Reality projects made by students using Zoe for Unity.               ©Apelab 2020. All rights reserved. 

Last year, the San Diego Jewish Academy organised summer camps with students from China and the US. Led by educator Kwaku Aning, teams of students from 12 to 16 years old were able to build AR and VR experiences in a matter of days using a beta version of Zoe for Unity. From a sustainable gardening simulator to a training program helping farmers clean their polluted soil, students learned how to transform their ideas into stories and games, successfully transmitting their knowledge to others.

At Rutgers Prep, several educators are gearing up to use Zoe with their students next fall. “We strive to take our students from consumers to creators in all areas of the curriculum,” said Kevin Merges, Director of Innovation. “We are particularly excited about the integration of Google Poly assets and have purchased a 3D scanner to incorporate real world assets into Zoe. This is going to be an exhilarating adventure for our school community.”

What’s next?

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Image showing how the Mobile version will work remotely with the Virtual Reality App.           ©Apelab 2020. All rights reserved. 

Apart from regularly adding functions to their already available tools, the apelab team is developing a mobile version of Zoe which will be fully compatible with the VR application and reduce the need for each student to have a headset to work on immersive projects. Multi-user functionalities are also in the works to allow students to build together from anywhere in the world. Educators around the world will have access to a complete set of software tools and a collaborative platform of shared knowledge and resources around immersive technologies supporting students from 6th grade up to higher education.

“With the growing amount of XR within all aspects of our lives (advertising, sports, entertainment) it is becoming increasingly important for students to take on the roles of creators of this content instead of consumers,” said Kwaku Aning, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking (CIET), SDJA. “Zoe is an amazing tool that will empower the creativity of students in every school and help them to establish themselves as creators within the new work economy.”

The apelab team was recently awarded an Epic Mega Grant to support the development of Zoe. The team plans on using the grant to help build some of the most pressing functionalities needed by the teachers. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most schools around the globe to close their doors, and teachers to adapt their work. During these difficult times, the team at apelab wants to facilitate access to Zoe as much as they can. If you are an educator, a student, or have any role in an educational institution, you can now subscribe on www.zoe.com. Discounted professional learning subscriptions for educators and free student licenses are available until the end of June.

 


Apelab has been working in the AR/VR space for over 6 years. They dedicated their time to building a robust interaction engine for immersive computing by collaborating on projects with industry hardware companies like HTC, Google or Oculus. Today apelab is 200% dedicated to bringing immersive creation to students and educators around the world and help future generations to become creators of a brave new world!

Media

Images, videos, and logos in high quality can be downloaded here.

Press Contacts

Emilie Joly