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GCU Committee Members: AR, VR Change Our Reality – GCU News

Technology Deans’ Speaker Series guest panelist Joe Samyn, Principal Engineer for Connected Vehicle Improvement, has launched his career transforming nursing laboratories into virtual and augmented reality simulators.

Speakers share how technology is being used in nursing, construction and law enforcement

Ralph Friso pictures

Morpheus presented in “The Matrix” a set of facts: the red pill, or the blue one? But today’s realities go beyond red or blue; There’s that subtle green, too.

Three panelists shared their work in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with Grand Canyon University technology students Thursday at the Center for Cyber ​​of Excellence. It was the first of the class’s Deans of Technology speaker series, and the first in the series to be broadcast live and recorded by the department so students can attend online virtually.

The talk, which was organized with the help of initiatives and training of strategic employers at GCU, complemented what the Department of Technology itself is doing in this area. It includes Dr.. Isaac ArtziHuman-computer interaction and communication class, where students use mixed reality headsets such as Microsoft HoloLens and Oculus 2 VR glasses to bring projects to life. The research and design program team also addressed projects such as creating an immersive crime scene simulation and training in human trafficking for frontline health care workers. Then there is the recently opened virtual reality lab, which the department hopes will attract interest to a multidisciplinary group of students.

Speakers at Thursday’s talk distinguished between augmented reality and virtual reality: They said that virtual reality completely replaces the real-life environment with a simulated environment, while augmented reality enhances the real world with simulated elements (think of Pokémon GO, which puts virtual creatures in the real world).

Robert Lowe, head of technology programs in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at GCU, asks panelists about what’s next in AR and VR technology.

They then shared how they use these technologies to develop the different areas they have worked in, from construction to law enforcement training to medical training, showing how these technologies permeate every industry.

fat atmosphereBefore becoming a Principal Engineer at Phoenix-based Connected Vehicle Optimization, I worked for a Michigan startup focused on transforming University Medical School labs into a virtual reality and augmented reality simulator for mobile devices and an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset.

His company will go into a nursing program lab, such as GCU’s nursing simulation labs, and observe students as they work with models or with actors portraying patients. They also recreated how nursing students interact with objects in the hospital room.

“We kept repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating until we finally got to a point where nursing students were saying, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m having in my labs,'” said Smeen.

He shared with the students some of his challenges, including working with Oculus Quest controllers that are supposed to mimic hands.

“But you can’t really grab anything, you can’t really use your fingers properly necessarily, so we had to … figure out how to translate that into possible interactions in terms of what we were able to get at.”

One panelist said: “I don’t have the luxury of my space to be able to use the consoles” Bartle color, Director of Training and Curriculum at VirTra, which manufactures advanced simulators for training military and law enforcement personnel. “…When I deal with a soldier on the battlefield, he will have a one-to-one physical reality with his weapon platform. I can’t get a console that simulates where the magazine is issued. … It has to be 100%. Otherwise, I create a training tool that will cost him Really his life or someone else’s life.”

Guest panelist Lon Bartell, director of training and curriculum at VirTra, tells students how his company uses high-tech simulators in law enforcement and military training.

The simulators are mixed martial arts type octagons with five screens set up throughout the apprentice. Digital images are projected onto those screens, perhaps a domestic violence victim on one screen, then the aggressor on another. Trainees hold a simulated weapon and interact with those images.

“It’s a virtual environment. It’s not necessarily a virtual reality like you think of a headset,” Bartel said, adding how his company’s CEO moved toward digital simulation after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks because he wanted to improve law enforcement training.

Bartel also talked about some of the problems virtual realities create, beyond consoles that can’t simulate a weapon.

It’s the “super valley” issue – the idea that humans develop an aversion to computer-generated images. He likened it to the creep factor of the characters from the movie “The Polar Express”. Instead, his company relies on capturing human interaction with high-resolution cameras rather than virtual reality.

I know that this hidden psychological current is happening. …how can I analyze that the soldier’s decision-making was based on cues of behavior alone or the uncanny valley – that’s a problem. …I don’t have the luxury of letting the influence of the supernatural valley get there somehow. “

Guest speaker Dr. Jad Shalhoub, Director of Business Analytics at Rosendin, talks about how his company is using augmented and virtual reality in construction.

Another problem in the VR world: VR users may feel motion sickness because the rate at which the user’s head and eyes travel through space is faster than what they see in refresh rates on the screen. Samyn also said, if the audio is off and doesn’t exactly match the visuals, it can cause nausea.

Rosendin Director of Business Analytics Dr. Gad ShalhoubRosendin, who also oversees the innovative technology, said Rosendin uses both AR and VR.

In construction, everything was designed in 3D, but historically plans in this area were rendered in 2D. His company started using augmented reality once it became more mature to present these building designs to crews in the field: “They can see it at scale; they can see exactly what we want.”

His company has its own app that takes 3D designs, compresses and puts them on an iPad or Microsoft HoloLens.

Head of Technology Programs Rob Lowewho moderated the conversation, said he had heard that some virtual reality technologies had advanced so much that you could see tears streaming down the faces and asked the speakers what the future of augmented/virtual reality might look like.

Bartel had the opportunity to test out a Teslasuit, a full-body suit that uses electrical stimulation to create the sensation of cold or heat.

Samyn said he expects to see a lot of interesting things in computer graphics and more advances in AR headphones, which are shrinking in size.

“We have a long way to go,” Samin added.

He said his team will have to use video game tricks to deliver simulations of the highest quality.

“But even then, we still get, ‘Oh, that’s good enough to make the point clear, but it’s not a fact. It is unreal. I want to say that we are there, but we are not.”

Students pack the Cyber ​​Center of Excellence to hear guest panel members discuss developments in AR/VR.

Speakers also discussed their journey into the world of VR/AR.

First degree for two masters in sound engineering. He said he was a “studio rat,” but what initially made him interested in computer science was that the studios he worked in were always broken, so he started getting into electrical engineering and making repairs himself. A professor noticed his technological prowess and suggested he talk to a professor who works in AR/VR.

This professor hired him in his infancy. Samyn started getting into C-sharp programming at Unity.

“That’s when I started realizing that I love computer science,” he said. He moved to Phoenix – his sister is studying at GCU – to get a computer science degree.

Shalhoub was a civil engineer before he realized he wasn’t right for him. He was working on his master’s degree when he met a professor who was also exploring AR and VR.

“I didn’t know exactly much about augmented reality and virtual reality, but I worked on them,” Shalhoub said.

He said Bartel does not work directly in technology, but his career has brought him to it.

Bartel’s tip to students: Be a team player.

Solving problems in college is, can you search Google for the right thing? Problem solving when you are creative is to use your brain and everything you have learned to try to come up with a solution and come up with something new.

Joe Samin, Principal Engineer, Connected Vehicle Optimization

He said his test of the applicant is that he gives that applicant a project. The test isn’t how this person did the project, it’s how they handled the feedback.

“I need someone to look at other perspectives and interact with team members who might have a different perspective,” Bartel said.

Samyn, who has hired several GCU students, said that if students focus on one thing, make it problem solving: “Problem solving in college is, Can you Google the right thing? Solving problems when you are creative is using your brain and all you’ve learned to try to come up with a solution and come up with something new “.

Announce that students will not find a job in technology that will not pay them well. Instead, he said, “Find an interesting job and learn. It will matter more than anything He’ll come on the road, and I promise the money will come.”

Shalhoub, who added that identifying the problem is also important, told the students that technology is moving so fast that much of what students will learn at GCU will be out of date in 18-24 months.

But he said, “The value proposition you would make for any company you would be working for is Not what do you know. … Your value proposition is how quickly you can continue to learn,” a red pill, a blue one, or something else.

GCU Senior Writer Lana Sweeten-Shults can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-7901.

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