GIGXR partners with the Air Force Academy in VR training

The Venice VR company, GIGXR, is partnering with the Air Force Academy to simulate war applications.

University of Pennsylvania nursing students who were unable to enter the classroom during the pandemic have been examining virtual patients, full of injuries, temperature and other symptoms, using a phone app.

The Venice-based technology produced by GIGXR was so intriguing that the two-year-old company recently captured the interest of the Colorado-based Air Force Academy, which received a $ 750,000 grant to develop a program. mixed reality called HoloChem.

The program will use mixed reality, in which components of augmented reality interact with the real-world environment, to immerse students in situations that would otherwise be impossible, allowing them to see, for example, how they react. the different gases in the atmospheric conditions of the moon. The goal is to provide critical principles of chemistry.

“We provide a universe where an Air Force Academy instructor can teach a cohort of students on campus or remotely dispersed and move them through a series of experiments so they can get the knowledge they need, l ‘experience they need and with absolutely no risk,’ said David King Lassman, CEO of GIGXR.

Virtual and augmented reality technologies have long been heralded as the future of education, but have never been blocked, either due to lack of school funding or lack of effectiveness. Google Glass, which was advertised as a moon edtech product, was never widely adopted.

“You can throw money at something and throw away technology,” said Mina Johnson, a twenty-year-old Arizona State University psychology professor who creates mixed-reality content in educational settings. “But if you do not have good use cases resolved, you will not have any acceptance. “

But studies have shown that RA and VR applications in the classroom could prove to be more than just another edtech fad, especially for concepts like physics and chemistry. A co-authored study by Johnson found that students who could physically interact with physics concepts using RA found the lesson more engaging.

“It’s easier to learn 3D content with 3D support,” Johnson said. “So if you want to know the electromagnetic waves that move around you in a 3D way, I think you can use these means. “

GIGXR, whose growth accelerated amid the pandemic when students could no longer come to class, is one of the growing subsets of AR, VR and mixed-reality technology companies taking advantage of a socially distant learning environment to make education more immersive.

The company partnered with about 40 institutions around the world, including a large number of medical education networks, including the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. The school relies on HoloPatient, another of the company’s apps that uses virtual patients to represent 16 different illnesses or injuries. Technology mimics real-world situations in which students have to react on the fly to situations with death or life consequences.

“This lends itself to a connected and immersive experience, which in turn lends itself very well to anything that requires training and learning dynamics where you have to learn things that are complex … that can’t be easily seen with the ‘human eye,’ Lassman said.

GIGXR technology uses a mix of gameplay and mixed reality techniques. Using Microsoft Hololens, a pair of mixed-reality smart glasses, or using a smartphone’s GIGXR app, students can superimpose a patient in 3D around them and walk around to see if they’re there. has lesions or marks while a patient biometric information board. is shown nearby.

Guided by the instructor, students can treat the patient virtually and the instructor can monitor biometric information based on their treatments, either by slowing heart rate or increasing blood pressure.

Lassman called it “really useful when you think about the healthcare space. I’m looking at incredibly complicated models, the human body, how the cardiovascular system works, and the heartbeat.”

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