Husson University has recently joined the Pixotope Education Program, the company’s educational and community-building initiative designed to help enable the next-generation of virtual production talent, becoming the first U.S.-based education program partner. Other Pixotope Education Program partners include England’s University of Gloucestershire, The Netherlands’ Hanzehogeschool Groningen, Italy’s Apulia Digital Maker, Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and Taiwan’s Hsing Wu University.
Based in Bangor, Maine, Husson University is the only university in the state to offer a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Extended Reality (XR) in their School of Technology and Innovation. The XR degree prepares students for various careers in Extended Reality with a focus on XR software development, 3-D drafting and modeling, XR systems, and XR research and development. Because of the diverse nature of XR, students are also introduced to areas such as user experience, interactive design, video and audio production. This program is an option in addition to degrees in software development. And computer information systems.
The partnership between Husson University and Pixotope aims to provide students with unparalleled access to the latest tools, resources, and expertise in virtual production technology. The novel partnership aims to support the next generation of virtual production talent and prepare them for a successful career in this rapidly growing industry, considered one of the leading emerging industries of the future.=
“XR is one of the most exciting new technologies. It all comes down to empowering students from many different fields, and helping them understandd the power of XR and how it can be applied to their area of study,” said Brave Williams, iEX Center Director, and Associate Professor at Husson University. “All students, regardless of their field of study, need to have access to these tools. This new technology is going to impact all facets of business, research, arts, sciences, and entrepreneurial activities in the near future,” he said.
Husson’s testing and evaluation process is made possible by the iEX Center, an innovation hub that develops solutions using Extended Reality experiences such as Virtual and Augmented Reality (V/AR). Dedicated to the full expression of XR technology, the iEX Center is a critical pillar of Husson University’s curriculum. The Center plays a central role in enhancing students’ understanding of educational software platforms such as Pixotope, which can be applied to many different disciplines.
The information and industry resources provided by the Pixotope Education Program combined with the capabilities of the iEX Center ensures that both students and faculty understand the benefits and limitations of XR and other related technologies. According to Professor Williams, one of the things that is really exciting about Pixotope is its powerful yet simple integrations and interfaces. “Pixotope has created a simple tool that channels powerful and complex capabilities into a user-friendly package. It’s so easy to use that I feel comfortable utilizing it in my introductory classes,” he said.
As the University researched Virtual Production technologies, Husson looked for a software platform that would offer their students the very best tools and experiences. Specifically, they were looking for tools that offered an easy entry point for beginners and fostered incrementally advanced experiences with professional results. In addition, Pixotope also recently launched the Pixotope Pocket mobile app which in conjunction with the Education Program provides an even easier access to Augmented Reality and virtual studio tools and workflows. This allows students to create immersive content from anywhere right at their fingertips.
“There is an urgent need across industries for professionals who are trained in Virtual Production. Unfortunately, accessibility and skill sets continue to be barriers,” said Pixotope Education Program Manager Carina Schoo. According to Schoo, Husson University and Pixotope will work to ensure that students gain a robust and grounded understanding of Virtual Production that they can leverage across different industries, utilizing skill sets that can be applied to marketing, communications, computer science, filmmaking, and beyond.”
For other articles on VR/AR/XR in higher education, see: