The XR (Extended Reality) Studio brings students, faculty, and staff together to work collaboratively on components of virtual spaces, immersive, and interactive multimedia experiences. We host opportunities for Middlebury community members to experience both highly immersive VR environments, like those available through tools such as the Occulus Rift or the HTC Vive, as well as lower threshold VR encounters with 360 video and images through Google Cardboard viewers, smartphones, and mobile applications.
Intra-media pulls apart the components, examines how they work together, and re-assembles them to create interesting and informative pieces. Inter-media looks at how the XR technologies interact with activities in physical and other digital spaces. Students, faculty and staff work collaboratively on ways to “break the box” and have meaningful interactions with people in different geographic locations.
XR is ubiquitous. No matter where you are, if you have a phone, tablet, laptop, or a piece of hardware specifically engineered for VR, you can experience a “reality” as digital information that intertwined with the physical world, or as an immersive experience unto itself. At Middlebury, we have a few spaces dedicated to XR, as well as special tools and hardware to help you immerse yourself in new worlds.
In our dedicated XR spaces on the Middlebury and Monterey campuses, you can try out virtual reality with the help of a trained guide.
Some of the tools we have for XR include:
- Google Cardboard (Monterey)
- Oculus Rift (Middlebury)
- Oculus Go (Monterey & Middlebury)
- HTC Vive (Monterey)
- Leap Motion (Middlebury)
Some of the software we have includes:
- Leap Motion
- Tilt Brush
- Google Earth
- The Lab
- Developer software: Unity, Unreal
Try it Out
Book an appointment to learn about accessible applications of VR content viewing and creation such as:
- Interacting with available VR content such as 360 narratives using inexpensive Google Cardboard Viewers and smartphone
- Exploring Google Street View app with Cardboard and 360 image capture tool
- Creating 360 images and audio with Google Cardboard camera app (Android/iOS)
- Thinking critically about the affordances and limits of VR for teaching and learning.
- Prototyping interactive VR content with Thinglink VR editor; for example creating 360 videos and images with a Theta V camera
Individuals can reserve the Oculus room by going to http://middlebury.libcal.com/booking/videorooms and reserving 240B. They will also need to check out the Oculus Touch controllers, available at Circulation.
Book a 30-60 minute block of time to try out VR equipment on the Middlebury, VT or Monterey, CA campus. During demos, we try to model cooperative learning by creating a guide role and an experiencer role. A person becomes a guide after they have spent time in the virtual environment. They provided a kind of informal P2P hospitality for the person new to the Vive and VR. This human lifeline leads to the success of the demos and allows staff to get out of the way as peers teach one another how to be safe and how to navigate the virtual interface.