Husson University and Project>Login to host discussion and hands-on demonstration of virtual reality metaverse

Participants will be hooked together to a common virtual world through virtual reality headsets

BANGOR – Husson University and Project>Login will be hosting an event called “Industry eXploRation” at the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business and the College of Business’s iEX Center on Tuesday, April 5 from 5:15–7 pm The Center for Family Business and the iEX Center are located at 64 Kagan Drive in Bangor.

The event is free and open to the public. This includes members of the Husson campus community. It is designed to introduce individuals to the immersive and exciting world of extended reality. Beyond entertainment, XR is now being integrated into business, education, and more. All equipment for participants will be provided.

During the event, attendees will learn more about the expanding career opportunities in XR. Project>Login and Husson University are encouraging students, alumni, tech professionals, community members and area high school students to attend. Their hope is that attendees will gain a better understanding of the education and career pathways that lead to high-wage, in-demand fields like XR, without having to leave Maine.

“This is a unique opportunity for members of the public to understand the kinds of technology used to create immersive realities and how XR presentations can be applied to daily life,” said Brave Williams, MFA, director of Husson University’s Interactive Experience (iEX) Center and associate professor of the School of Technology and Innovation. “This event will be the first time in Husson University’s history that we are going to attempt connecting multiple people simultaneously in the same virtual reality metaverse using VR headsets.”

“We are excited to partner with Husson University on this event,” said Angela Oechslie, program director for Project>Login. “As the state’s leading resource for individuals interested in the computing and IT field, we’re working to meet the educational needs of both students and employers. This event does both. High school students with an interest in this career field should make it a point to attend this upcoming event.”

“Industry eXploRation” will educate attendees on the fundamentals of extended reality and give them an experiential introduction to the iEX Center’s vision to create seamless and inspirational XR for everyone.

The event is comprised of several different components:

5:15 pm: Participants meet in the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business. As people arrive, they can get set up with virtual reality glasses and use Gravity Sketch, another professional program, and/or Beat Saber.

5:30 pm: Introduction to the event

5:35 pm: Tour of the iEX Center

6:05 pm: Arrive back at the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business and introduce Caroline Dennis. Dennis is a disruptive industry agent, a career designer and a member of the industry organization XR Women.

6:25 pm: Introduce Nick Havas. Havas is an XR artist, a graphic designer and a VR and metaverse veteran specializing in 2D and 3D design, direction and management with a special focus in metaverses and online games. During the Havas session participants will use Oculus or laptop computers to meet up in different environments he has developed.

6:30 pm: Havas will discuss XR’s vision, general pipeline and its integration into business. He’ll also discuss how it applies to entertainment and education, as well as the challenges associated with moving forward.

7:00 pm: Conclusion of the event.

Oechslie is serving as the co-host of the event and will introduce the guest speakers.

“Students here at Husson University studying in the XR program are learning to solve real-world problems using advanced technologies,” said Marie Hansen, JD, PhD, SHRM-SCP, dean of the College of Business. “This event will give everyone in attendance a glimpse into the career possibilities XR technology is making possible.”

Individuals enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in extended reality program are working extensively in the new iEX Center in Harold Alfond Hall, the home of Husson University’s College of Business. The iEX Center serves as an innovation hub for the creation of interactive and immersive extended reality (XR) research and design projects. Given the current level of industry demand, the kinds of presentations developed in the Center will have practical applications for professionals working in education, entertainment, business, healthcare and a variety of other fields. A 2019 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that nearly 23.5 million jobs worldwide will be using virtual and augmented reality by 2030 for training, work, meetings or to provide better customer service. This new immersive audio technology is a key part of the iEX Center’s capabilities.

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to deliver affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by US News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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