Student Competitions

U Central Florida, Canon Partner on Mixed Reality Competition

The University of Central Florida (UCF) and Canon USA have partnered to establish a mixed reality competition and mentorship program. As part of the program, which launched in February, a mixed reality expert from the company worked with students on a bi-weekly basis while students used the Canon MREAL Solution for Mixed Reality to create virtual simulations.

Mixed reality combines computer generated imagery (CGI) with real-world surroundings. Canon's MREAL solution achieves this mixed reality using a combination of a head-mounted or handheld display, a network camera and mixed reality software. Students participating in the mixed reality competition and mentorship program worked at the E2i Creative Studio at UCF's Institute for Simulation and Training to design concepts for real-world applications in the fields of design and manufacturing, architecture, training and simulation and fashion design. For the competition, they wore the MREAL Solution's head-mounted display to demonstrate their mixed reality designs for a panel of judges, which included professionals from the aerospace and design industries.

The winning team used the MREAL system to demonstrate emergency response procedures by simulating the techniques on a physical mannequin with virtual wounds. According to a news release from Canon, "the winning team proved how the solution could be used to bring the dynamic, chaotic conditions of a medical emergency for effectively training paramedics and emergency personnel."

Randall Shumaker, the director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Simulation and Training, thinks simulation tools are valuable for education. "Education researchers have determined that individuals, especially adults, learn better with experience than reading or lectures," he said in a prepared statement. "Particularly important in educating students focusing on game design and immersive technologies, the value of experience makes simulation tools, like the MREAL Solution, an incredibly valuable tool for preparing them for the real world."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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