Virtual reality is becoming the new reality at Lehman College in New York City.
Lehman, a part of the City University of New York system, and EON Reality Inc., a virtual reality software and solutions provider, announced the establishment of an Interactive Digital Center. The new center will support a Virtual and Augmented Reality Training Academy and Development Lab.
The academy and lab will be housed in the college’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies on Lehman’s campus in the Bronx and is currently scheduled to open in March. In addition to supporting continuing studies, the program will also help develop applications for students to use and learn about.
José Luis Cruz, president of Lehman, hailed the partnership as an “example of how Lehman is cementing its place as the most important, mission-critical senior college of The City University of New York,” he said. “This effort will provide our students with invaluable, state-of-the-art experiential training — positioning them well for the opportunities of the burgeoning VR/AR industry.”
The program will take place over 11 months, and students will receive three months of classroom training followed by eight months of project-based learning. The work will culminate in a project completed for actual customers.
The new facility will also include an Icube Mobile, which is a four-wall immersive virtual reality room equipped to allow students to test out their projects.
According to college officials, the virtual and augmented reality arena is expanding rapidly, and will require a host of talented professionals to meet demands of the field, which is estimated to be around $150 billion by 2020.
College officials hope that EON Reality and the new academy and lab will have a positive impact on the Bronx, which has the lowest socio-economic status in the city. They are banking on new VR learning modules to train workers for other tech industries.
“Lehman College is a perfect partner for EON Reality,” said Dan Lejerskar, chairman of EON Reality. “New York City is a place where our unique combination of training and education can make a difference in people’s lives, especially when combined with Lehman College’s expertise.”
Lejerskar added that VR and AR can have a positive effect on teaching in many subject areas.
“Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality lets people learn by doing,” he said. “This speeds up the entire learning process, improves retention, and helps learners make the right decisions in stressful situations. This technology is perfect for Lehman’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, situated in one of the world’s most dynamic cities.”
The VR/AR academy and lab is currently accepting applications from City University of New York students and New York City residents. For more information, visit http://lehman.edu/vr/ and www.eonreality.com.