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High School Internship Students visit Virtual Reality Lab at CUNY Lehman College

August 3, 2018

On August 3rd, DDC high school interns visited the Lehman College Virtual Reality Training Academy in the Bronx to get a hands-on experience with Virtual Reality technology and learn about state of the art experiential training. Lehman College has partnered with EON Reality Inc., a world leader in virtual and augmented reality software development and knowledge transfer to create a VR/AR lab used to provide CUNY students with training that will position students for career opportunities in the fast-growing fields of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Interns were able to use the Icube Mobile, a four-wall immersive VR room that allows students to experience and visualize concepts to test different applications. Icube provides a powerful technology platform on which students can learn and test applications in Virtual Reality. Classes offered at the Lehman VR Lab include VR animations, 3D graphics and web design. the goal is to education students on how to develop virtual reality solutions. 
Samira Bahrami, Director of CUNY on the Concourse Lehman College and Marcin Kasica, director of global education and training at EON Reality spoke about the power of VR and emphasized that the VR and AR field is growing quickly and will require an infusion of talent to meet the market’s demands. Students were able to use different VR devices and play demos in VR with devices like Leap Motion, and ZSpace. The goal of EON Reality is to use existing devices in educational ways through VR and AR by providing immersive experiences that will impact our everyday life.
Mr. Kasica started the class asking the question, “What makes a smartphone smart?” and went on to explain and illustrate the power of smartphones as Virtual and Augmented Reality devices. He also explained how VR could be applied to fields such as construction, architecture, medicine, therapy, sports, entertainment, and all aspects of education. The interns immersed themselves underwater to experience deep sea diving without getting wet, and they were able to go up and down, and upside down at super high speeds on a VR rollercoaster ride. They also viewed diagrams of a neuron and a jet engine and were able to see how VR allows others to see where the user has been through a VR headset and 360 video.
Mr. Kasica introduced an online website Creator AVR where users can upload their 3D digital projects. This site is geared mainly to students and teachers for educational purposes and it can be used to create quizzes to test the user on what he/she has learned about a 3D object. Mr. Kasica also discussed AR Assist an Assistance Augmented Reality program that consists of a headquarter base where information is sent by a user who needs assistance and is located elsewhere. HQ will instruct the user step-by-step in real time, as it can see what the user sees through their headset. The interns learned about the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality uses a software that interacts with your environment to add virtual technological elements. It takes the reality to one step and augments our current state of presence. Pokémon Go is a good example of augmented reality. It is a mix of the real world and virtual world, allowing the individual to experience both. Virtual Reality is totally computer-generated technological recreation aspect that blocks the real-world and takes us to a virtual fantasized dream world. Putting a VR headset allows you to enter into a new world – the highly-used technology in the gaming and entertainment industry to enhance the senses and experiences.
“In addition to visiting the Virtual Reality Lab at Lehman College, over the course of the summer our interns piloted DDC’s new Virtual Reality curricula and took part in a VR workshop where they worked collaboratively to create a culminating VR Video project focusing on two new NYPD Police precincts that are part of a newly piloted design that includes user friendly and accessible community rooms. As part of the pilot program, designed by Lucy Wong, program director in the Public Buildings Division, and Hossain Taimur,  a Sr. Project Manager in Public Buildings, our students were able to experience virtual lectures from an impressive list of special guests from Facebook, the New York Times, MIT, and the Coro Fellows Program.  Our interns also learned how to use 360 cameras, video editing software, and VR headsets to create an immersive project tailored to the built environment and construction management process. It is critically important that students gain exposure to this state of the art technology,” stated Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives, Lee Llambelis