Did you ever imagine that your school experience could involve an immersive journey into the cells of the human body—or into outer space?
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have given the authors of science fiction plenty to write about, but New York University’s (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering is bringing these revolutionary platforms to the academic sphere.
A world away from the physical classroom, NYU Tandon is integrating the most innovative technologies into the learning experience. Through a new Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Lab, a state-of-the-art facility supported by a US$6 million investment from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, students are encouraged to embrace technology’s potential and solve real-world issues across a range of industries, from bioengineering to aeronautics.
The school aims to expand the boundaries of VR and AR, offering hands-on learning opportunities and acting as a proving ground for research projects and start-ups. Students graduate from NYU Tandon with invaluable experience in these emerging technologies, allowing them to harness growing career opportunities in the field.
Having worked with influential faculty in an expertly designed facility that encourages, NYU Tandon School of Engineering graduates leave prepared to ride the 256 percent increase in VR and AR jobs that have emerged over the last decade.
Among the recent AR/VR projects developed by Tandon students have been a robot control interface that runs on a conventional smart phone or tablet, using the device’s camera to capture details in the environment and overlay virtual objects so that the user has only to swipe the screen to make the robots move or pick up objects. The app eliminates the need for much of the expensive laboratory-grade equipment that roboticists normally employ and allows even students or hobbyists to further their horizons.
From Game of Thrones-inspired AR games to VR programmes to help stroke victims recover, the scope of Tandon’s student creations highlight the huge change these emerging technologies can bring in almost every field–including art and theatre, as shown by one recent production: To Be with Hamlet, a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that brought together 21st-century technology with early-17th-century literature and was showcased at the world-renowned Tribeca Film Festival. “Theatre has always been a social experiment first and foremost,” said the production’s creator, a Tandon instructor and alum. “But in this space, you can build entire worlds around you and build characters around you that you can’t in traditional theatre.”
To Be with Hamlet had its genesis in NYU Tandon’s Integrated Digital Media (IDM)programme, which is co-directed by world-renowned artist and musician R. Luke DuBois and aimed at fostering creative practice, design research, and multidisciplinary experimentation with emerging media technologies. IDM students graduate with tailored experience in an important, growing discipline that encompasses gaming, health and wellness, smart cities, and much more.
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering is dedicated to nurturing the innovative potential of creative students and faculty members to drive VR and AR forward. As those technologies move increasingly to the mainstream, there are opportunities for graduates to carve out their own niches in the industry, use the platforms to solve global problems, and turn their ideas into reality.
So whether you’re interested in medicine, sustainability, art, or computer science, AR and VR technology can help influence and improve your field in a way that’s never before been possible.
If you are interested in learning more about VR and AR’s potential, and how you can join this movement, you can explore Tandon School of Engineering’s website here.