Studio X has served dozens of metaverse novices, annual report shows

Studio X has served dozens of metaverse novices, annual report shows

The basement of the Carlson Library houses the Roller Coasters, a medieval alchemy lab, and a futuristic musical light performance space.

In a way, this sentence is 100% correct – and all thanks to Studio X, half of the university’s library, and half of the experience area dedicated to augmented and virtual reality, collectively known as Extended Reality (XR). The studio released its first Annual Report Earlier this month, a recap of the studio’s beta launch year, which was filled with projects, workshops, and competitions focused on introducing students to these emerging technologies and exploring their horizons.

According to the report, the space served 529 first-time users of XR technologies and facilitated 520 reservations for equipment across 48 departments and six schools in the 2021-2022 school year. Walid Nadim, Karp Library Fellow and Brand Ambassador for Studio X, said the debut was a huge achievement.

wrote to Campus Times. “Every user has different feelings before wearing the headset ranging from indecision to excitement, and it is always fun to hear them scream or laugh when they see the virtual world. Every time a new user puts on the headset, it allows me to relive the excitement and fall in love with it all over again” .

Studio X has also hosted nine student-led workshops covering a wide range of topics, many with titles descending from clickbait heaven. From “Create your own VR escape room“session to”Composing VR music in Unity” And the “Create your own VR Flappy Bird– There was a clear popular audience in mind.

Besides student-led workshops, the report also highlights how Studio X has helped integrate XR technologies into teaching and scholarship in the classroom. For example, Associate Professor of Computer Science Zhen Bai brought an XR class to Studio X to help them overcome difficulties they had in developing software for VR headsets due to unavailability.

But the report also notes that the studio’s successes came amid setbacks.

“Supply chain issues have delayed our technology,” said Emily Sherwood, director of Studio X, in the report. “Like many units in the university, we had few staff and had trouble filling jobs and finding people with the skills we needed. Although we have assembled a team of dedicated and skilled students, we see our team as a work in progress. Case in point: We still do not have the staff to fully meet the needs of the faculty. Finally, as with all new spaces, we have discovered physical and technical limitations, sometimes forcing us to rethink our programming and event strategies.”

Nadim added that he believes Studio X can be improved if it is equipped with a fully dedicated computer lab. The studio currently has a few desktop computers, but their setup is smaller than the Rettner Computer Labs and IT Center. Nadim said he is optimistic about the change because the studio is a “student-led space.”

Overall, Nadim said he felt the most important work he did with Studio X was to “represent the potential” for students who might feel they have no role in the growing XR segment.

“I am not a computer science major,” he wrote. “I am a student in Business Information Systems and Digital Media Studies, and if I can make these experiences and work on these innovative immersive technologies, everyone else can too. Studio X is available to everyone regardless of your major or experience, all you need is a passion for learning.”

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