First Annual Immersive Technology Summit

The first Immersive Technology Summit took place in LMU's Life Science building on Friday, February 23, 2018. The event was a stimulating success, in which faculty engaged with virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, and took part in a lively and lengthy panel discussion on the state and future of immersive tech. See footage from the event below.

Immersive Tech @ LMU

1. College of Business Administration Marketing School

Making Virtual A Reality, from the Marketing School in the College of Business Administration. Faculty member Matt Stefl and industry leader and LMU alum Logan Mulvey co-taught MRKT 4598/ENTR 3398: Making Virtual A Reality for the first time in Fall 2017. Students from four different disciplinary backgrounds collaborated on approaching a real world opportunity or issue using immersive technology.

2. Virtual Tour of LMU Campus

Visitors can take a virtual 14-stop tour of the LMU campus with audio provided by a Lion. The 360-degree photos at each stop give participants an immersive experience of the Westchester LMU campus from the convenience of their home and with the ease of a few clicks. Take LMU's virtual tour right here.

Additional Features from the 2018 Immersive Technology Summit

3. Immersive Journalism with Nonny de la Peña

What if you could experience a story with your entire body, not just with your mind? Nonny de la Peña is working on a new form of journalism that combines traditional reporting with emerging virtual reality tech to put the audience in the story. The result is an evocative experience that de la Peña hopes will help people understand the news in a brand new way.

4. Medical Training with You VR

YOU VR is focused on making medical training immersive and easy to understand through the use of virtual reality and the HTC VIVE. YOU Producer Sharecare is positioning itself as the leader in visual health, empowering its users and their loved ones; healthcare providers and patients; educators and students; and pharmaceutical companies and their customers to better communicate and understand medical diagnoses, treatments, and patient journeys.

5. Dr. Phil's Path to Recovery

A supplementary tool to addiction recovery, this VR experience allows those in recovery to have simulated sit-downs with Dr. Phil to discuss the recovery process.

6. AnatomyX

The AnatomyX platform provides next-generation anatomy education for medical students, resident physicians, and faculty via holographic immersive learning.

7. Mursion

Mursion is a virtual reality environment in which professionals practice and master the complex interpersonal skills necessary to be effective in high-stress professions. Used by a wide range of innovative organizations in healthcare, education, hospitality, finance, and other corporate sectors, Mursion delivers customized virtual reality simulations that recreate the most demanding interpersonal challenges that professionals confront on the job every day. See Mursion's website for information and experiences.

8. Embodied Labs

Embodied Labs created I Am Alfred so medical students, who are typically in their 20s, can experience some of the effects of aging first hand. The VR tool was designed to engender empathy with patients.

9. Draw Me Close

Canadian playwright-director Jordan Tannahill partnered with the National Theatre and the National Film Board Canada to create Draw Me Close, a vivid memoir about his relationship with his mother in the wake of her terminal cancer diagnosis. This deceptively simple and human approach to immersive technology allows the audience member to experience life as five-year-old Jordan inside a live, illustrated world. 

10. Universe Sandbox

Universe Sandbox ² is a physics-based space simulator. It merges gravity, climate, collision, and material interactions to reveal the beauty of our universe and the fragility of our planet. Create, destroy, and interact on a scale you've never before imagined.

11. Daniel Landau

Daniel Landau created his Time-Body Study as a performative experiment exploring the impact re-embodiment in virtual reality has on the boundaries of body, identity, and self. In the experiment participants, wearing a virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD), are re-embodied in the body of a seven, 40, and 80-year-old person. Learn more about this experience on Daniel's website.

12. The Machine To Be Another

The Machine To Be Another is an Open Source Art investigation on the relation of Identity and Empathy that has been developed on a basis of low budget experiments of Embodiment and Virtual Body Extension. Designed as an interactive performance installation, the 'Machine' offers users the possibility of interacting with a piece of another person's life story by seeing themselves in the body of this person and listening to his/her thoughts inside their mind. Read more here.

13. Notes On Blindness

A VR compliment to a feature film, Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness attempts to create an experience based on the audio diaries of John Hull, who lost his sight in 1983 and kept extensive diaries that were published in 1990. The Guardian calls it "a magical VR experience".

14. Giant

Director Milica Zec co-created Giant based on her experience in war-torn Belgrade, Serbia, as a teenager. Originally conceived as a short film, Milica said, "Upon my initial read, I decided it was crucial to place the audience directly inside of the story, surrounded by its raw emotion with nowhere to escape. That's when I realized it had to be VR." Sample the experience on producer WITHIN's website.

15. Clouds Over Sidra

A virtual reality film for the United Nations, created in partnership with Samsung and commissioned as part of the UN's advocacy at the World Economic Forum. Clouds Over Sidra follows a twelve year old in the Za'atari camp in Jordan – home to 84,000 Syrian refugees. It's the first ever film shot in virtual reality for the UN, using the medium to generate greater empathy and new perspectives on people living in conditions of great vulnerability. Sample the experience on producer WITHIN's website.

16. Vizible

Vizible is new software from WorldViz that lets teachers, trainers, and students design immersive experiences and then meet inside of them with other people in VR for remote collaboration. The creation side of Vizible is entirely drag-and-drop and is accessible to non-technical users. You can import 3D models, spherical media, documents, images, sounds, and more, and then build interactivity on top of it with triggers and sensors. When inside of your Vizible presentation with others, participants can use laser pointers, drawing tools, and more. Find out more on the WorldViz site.

Presentation and Panel Information

Immersive Technology Today - Presentation by Special Guest Peter Campbell

About Peter Campbell:

Peter Campbell, founder and CEO of xpereal, brings learning organizations and innovative virtual and augmented reality companies together to solve problems in teaching and learning. For the past 22 years, Peter has led large-scale ed tech projects at major corporations, academic institutions, and startups. He has served as Director of Solutions Management for Blackboard and Director of Academic Technology for Montclair State University. At e-learn, he led the design and development of a K-12 learning management system in collaboration with Scholastic. In his role as the Director of Immersive Learning Solutions for Pearson, Peter led AR/VR strategy for the world's largest educational content company. In 2016, he created a partnership with Microsoft and piloted HoloLens at educational organizations including San Diego State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Faculty Perspectives:

  • Shane Acker: Animation, "Harnessing the Creative Possibilities of VR For Animation Production" – Shane will discuss the courses he teaches at LMU and the immersive interactive VR projects his students produce in the Unreal game engine, including VR escape rooms and a VR alien safari ride. His personal research has been how to use VR creation tools in the animation production pipeline, focusing on creating and converting CG assets from Quill, Medium, and Tilt Brush into an animation pipeline in Maya.
  • Josh Morgan: Animation and Computer Science, "The Challenges Game Designers and Developers Face When Creating VR Games" – Josh will discuss issues with User Interface and control schemes. UI design in VR is currently hindered by both technological and psychological limitations that prevent many VR experiences from being immediately intuitive and completely immersive. Citing examples from the professional world and projects his students have done in Game Design and Advanced Interactive classes, Josh will discuss the limitations and potential solutions to these problems.
  • Kristin Noreen: Art History, "Virtual Reality and Art History: Teaching with Technology" – Kirstin will briefly discuss how the integration of 360 degree videos, three-dimensional reconstructions, digitized medieval manuscripts, and other multi-media resources have helped enhance instruction in art history, engage students in learning about monuments and works that are temporally and geographically distant, and develop project-based learning. The integration of student-created 360 degree videos of monuments in Rome using a 360fly 4K camera, as well as assignments such as a virtual pilgrimage and analysis of Assassin's Creed II, will also be considered.
  • Robert Senter: Chemistry and Biochemistry, "Studying Quantum Chemistry with VR in General Chemistry" – After briefly describing a virtual lesson created by a startup company SAMA, Robert will compare it to the typical ways Quantum Chemistry is discussed in a general chemistry lecture. Students have given very positive evaluations of the virtual lesson, and strong learning gains have been achieved; however, there are limits and issues with expanding use of this technology. The talk will also explore the current vision for the future use of such tech in Chemistry.
  • Matt Stefl: Marketing, "How to Build an Interdisciplinary Immersive Media Course (When You Don't Know a Ton About Immersive Tech)" – This talk will highlight the instructor's experience of building an integrated immersive media course that reached across campus to include a variety of students as well on- and off-campus subject matter experts.