About the Imagine Lab
The Imagine Lab is located in Wold 118 and is a interdisciplinary space that aims to help students develop a human-centered and culturally sensitive philosophy, sensibility, and ethic around emerging technologies to better navigate implications and impact. The Lab is equipped with a variety of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality tools as well as 360 video and photography equipment. Students and faculty can reserve and use our virtual reality equipment, use our 360 cameras, use our computers to create VR content or just stop by to learn more. See the full equipment list below.
The Lab is a hub for exploring digital innovation, mobilizing with hands-on, learner-centered programming that brings together students and faculty to analyze data, visualize information, ideate, experiment, and integrate digital technologies to enrich learning within and outside the classroom. This new hub will impact and strengthen undergraduate education through intellectual inquiry, new pedagogies, and immersive student-faculty research. The space provides a spot on campus to connect College constituents from different fields, areas of expertise, and diverse backgrounds to invoke productive debate, stimulate rich collaboration, tackle complex questions, spark creative solutions, and imagine the unimaginable.
Currently the Lab is focused on immersive learning and Virtual Reality (VR) Augmented reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) and related technologies. We have a variety of VR equipment for students and faculty to use to investigate the technologies and explore their interests. The Lab is staffed by Maker Corp work study students and all faculty and students are welcome to stop in any time during our open hours with questions or to use our equipment and investigate our resources. Please see our full hours below and reference the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page for more information on engaging the technologies in the Lab. If you have any questions just stop by the Lab during our open hours or submit an inquiry below.
The Imagine Lab offers a physical and conceptual space and sophisticated equipment for faculty and students to explore a variety of immersive educational resources. We have continued to expand our capabilities and services to assist with the integration of cutting-edge educational tools into courses and research across the disciplines. We offer a broad range of ready-to-experience applications that cover a range of topics including history, art, mathematics, chemistry, neurology, data visualization, biology, anatomy and engineering to name just a few!
How can we help?
Below are some examples of the resources and services the Imagine Lab provides for students and faculty. We can assist with research, coursework, individual projects or just simple experimentation. We are here to help so please feel free to stop by the Lab during our open hours or submit an inquiry if you have any questions.
Fall 2023 Imagine Lab Schedule
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO STOP BY THE LAB IN WOLD 118 DURING OUR OPEN HOURS!
Below are the list of apps we have preinstalled on the various headsets in the Imagine Lab. Users are not allowed to downlead ANY apps including free demos. Rather, they can request apps using the link below. Apps can be found at the Oculus Quest Store, Oculus Go Store, Oculus Rift Store, and the STEAM Powered Store (HTC Vive Apps). You will be notified if your request has been approved.
Want to Request an Experience?
It is useful to distinguish between the immersive technologies offered in the Imagine Lab as they require different hardware and software and the output and learning opportunities vary greatly. For clarity it is important to build a specific and shared language around 360 media (360), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR).
360 Media (360)
360 media can come in the form of 360 degree images, videos or scans. Images can be captured with most smart phones but higher quality images and 360 video often require specialized devices such as the Ricoh Theta or Nikon Keymission 360. 360 scans are actually 3 dimensional data that require specific laser scanners and software to capture and edit. All of the above can be considered content and can be viewed on a computer screen or using VR, AR and MR technologies.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Technology where Users are completely immersed in a computer-generated reality. Virtual reality is the most well-known of immersive technologies and generally involves a headset that entirely blocks out the outside environment. Some headsets require a smart phone that acts as a screen with a button to interact with the content while others have integrated screens and hand held tools for interaction.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Technology that overlays digital information on the real world. Rather than provide a fully immersive virtual experience, augmented reality enhances the real-world with images, video, text, and other virtual information via devices such as heads-up displays, smartphones, tablets, smart lenses, and AR glasses
Mixed Reality (MR)
A mixed-reality environment goes a step beyond augmented reality because users can interact in real-time with virtual objects that are placed within the real world. These virtual items will respond and react to users as if they were actual objects.
FAQ and ENGAGING THE IMAGINE LAB:
Q – How can I integrate the Imagine Lab’s technologies and functionality into my teaching/research?
A – Visit our website to learn about the technologies, then visit the Lab and see a demo of the tools and technologies and existing use cases and finally contact us to begin brainstorming how your interests can be matched with the right tools and technologies.
Q – How can I access the Imagine Lab?
A – The Imagine Lab is open to anyone in the Union Community and has regular posted operating hours. It is staffed with well-trained Maker Corp work study students who can show you around, demo the tools and get you started.
Q – How do I learn how to use the tools and technologies offered by the Imagine Lab?
A – Visit the Lab or check out our website for upcoming training events and resources. This Fall term we will host tours, demonstrations to introduce novices to the technologies, workshops where you can follow along on your computer and learn the software to create your own experiences and we also host online video tutorials if you want to continue your learning outside of the Lab.
Q – Do I have in depth knowledge of the tools and technologies to experience VR and AR environments?
A – No! We have several premade or purchased educational environments where one can simply put on a headset and get started. There is no prerequisite training required to use our viewing equipment.