Center for Immersive Experiences opens at Penn State

Local News

When you think of virtual reality you may think of entertainment and video games.

But VR is being used more and more by businesses and schools.

Instructors and students say the new Center for Immersive Experiences takes research to a whole new reality.

“When I first came to Penn State, I had no idea what I wanted to study and then I was introduced to one of the spaces on campus that had virtual reality and I said, “That what I want to do,” Talia Potochny, Penn State Student, said.

Talia Potochny is a Geography student at Penn State.

“I actually just gave a presentation earlier today, about how augmented reality can be used to help people with sensory impairment,” Potochny, said.

Augmented reality, similar to the Pokemon Go concept, uses a screen like an Ipad to help users experience another reality.

Last week, after a year of planning and construction, the Center for Immersive Experiences opened in the Pattee Library at Penn State.

Students at the college can now learn through vitrual reality, with head sets and hand controllers and augmented reality with a pad type screen and 360 degree video.

Penn State says with technology students can go places they normally couldn’t, like inside the human body, or to another country.

“We’re using 360 video with our Geology students,” Jennifer Sparrow, Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State, said. “They’re able to visit a volcano.”

According to Forbes, large employers like Walmart and the U.S. Army have turned to immersive technology this year.

“I think that there’s so many job opportunities for that in the future,” Potochny, said.

They plan to have classes and workshops in the center by next Spring.

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