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BYU explores advanced technology with Mixed Reality Lab

BYU has invested efforts into its latest offering, the Mixed Reality Lab, which  features virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Brady Redfearn, Mixed Reality Lab Director, BYU, expressed that the latest development from the company’s stable offers an opportunity to look into the future and make key decisions regarding processes, policies and systems that need to be put in motion now.

The Mixed Reality Lab is situated at the Crabtree Building for application with the cybersecurity and information technology applications of BYU. It is being utilised for the processes of designing and prototyping  several mixed reality experiences. With this latest development, BYU has become one among just a handful of of universities in the USA to offer this type of lab.

Redfearn elaborated that the future entails everyone having access to advanced technology forms and tech-related infrastructure. He assumes that such technology might soon be built-in within eye-glasses, making their usage seem normal for the average person. Redfearn believes that the university is planning for the future at the moment, and that the Lab can be used to disseminate new learning experiences to the students.

BYU opened a new Mixed Reality Lab in the Crabtree Building to help students gain hands-on experience. (BYU Photo)

Speaking about an augmented reality experience, Redfearn stated that digital three-dimensional objects are superimposed within real-world settings. In the case of virtual reality, the entire experience is digital.

25 BYU students are presently enrolled in IT 515R, the mixed reality class being offered by the university. The students are currently working on a project for creating a mixed reality-based application, which will stretch for an entire semester.

The students are now contributing tehri efforts into the development of an application to be utilised for hospitals, nursing, escape rooms and interior designs. They are also preparing a grant proposal to initiate the development process of a mixed reality-based application for suicide prevention.

Trevor Allen, a junior of IT and cybersecurity, who is currently a lab worked and also participating in the MR class, shared his inputs. According to him, the concept of a Mixed Reality Lab class was quite intriguing. Since he does not possess the financial power to purchase the equipment for himself, the lab is a valuable resource for helping him learn.

Grett Corck, majoring in IT and cybersecurity, is also a worker at the lab. He expressed that the technological infrastructure which will propagate a movement towards virtual reality, can be accessed by everyone. His learning experience has been fruitful due to ampel exposure to new high-value technology forms. Corck explained that the Lab has facilitated accessible learning for all who are interested development.
The lab helps students prepare for career success in the future, even while not being completely relatable to their chosen fields of study.

The students of the Mixed Reality Lab programme will have to contribute to this particular field of technology, either in the capacity of their initial job roles, or otherwise. Mixed reality is a dominant technology for the future, stating that the developments will keep coming. – Brady Redfearn



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