The S.E. Wimberly Library has opened a new lab called, “The Portal,” which will serve as a collaborative space at Florida Atlantic University that specifically focuses on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Helping to bring innovative technology into the library, The Portal is equipped with Magic Leap One, HTC Vive Eye Pro, and Oculus Quest technology.
Magic Leap is a Florida-based technology company that has developed a spatial computing platform that seamlessly integrates digital into your physical environment.
Trevor Rose, staff member at the S.E. Wimberly Library, oversees The Portal, and developed an AR game that was added to the Magic Leap World store.
“As new technologies continue to mature, it’s crucial that students get the opportunity to be involved in bringing their ideas to fruition,” said Rose. “We want to give everybody the chance to apply their creativity and personal experience toward the development of this new medium.”
The Portal was opened in partnership with the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science’s Machine Perception & Cognitive Robotics (MCPR) laboratory.
The MCPR lab is led by co-directors Elan Barenholtz and William Edward Hahn and educates students from high school to Ph.D. studies in the cutting-edge techniques of artificial intelligence.
“VR and AR are going to be transformative technologies across many disciplines and industries, but the vast majority of students have never directly experienced these technologies while an even smaller number have had a chance and to actively engage with them and develop with them,” said Barenholtz. “The Portal will provide students from any discipline and background with the opportunity to learn about and help shape the future of their respective fields.”
The Portal is currently opened Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will remain a space for students to work on VR projects even after The Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox is open. The Gruber Sandbox is expected to open in the spring of 2020. It will be a 3,400-square-foot lab for students looking to explore the fast advancing field of artificial intelligence.