UA Little Rock Emerging Analytics Center to host open house featuring virtual and augmented reality technology April 7-8

Emerging Analytics Center Student Researcher Ramiro Serrano Vergel dissects a virtual corpse on the Immersive virtual reality table at the EAC center. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.

The Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 7-8, where visitors can see the latest cutting-edge technology in the world of virtual and augmented reality. 

“Virtual reality and augmented reality technology applications are like our universe, ever-evolving,” said Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, director of the Emerging Analytics Center. “Our team’s commitment to ongoing application development means you will always experience new and engaging immersive environments that spark the imagination and that innovatively address real industry challenges.”

In “Discover Virtual Reality 2017: A Virtual Wonderland,” visitors can explore featured applications demonstrated on devices like the immersive CAVE (computer aided virtual environment), Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens, HTC VIVE, the Cyberith & Virtuix Omni treadmills, and a 180-degree immersion dome.

As guests enter the Emerging Analytics Center, an interactive virtual owl named “WhoNu” will tell them about the upcoming tour experience. “WhoNu” was created based on facial recognition research conducted by students in the center.

Other virtual and augmented reality experiences provide guests the opportunity to explore human anatomy by dissecting a virtual cadaver, traverse the desert terrain of Al Baleed, a UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site in Oman, trek through Pirate Island, and create art in a 3D environment.

Emerging Analytics Center Student Researcher Loki Rasmussen explores Pirate Island in the CAVE. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.
Emerging Analytics Center Student Researcher Loki Rasmussen explores Pirate Island in the CAVE. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.

In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to test their knowledge by downloading Wonderland, a unique virtual portal designed for this event. The mystery will be unveiled as guests search for virtual clues throughout their tour in the Emerging Analytics Center.

“Whether you are a professional seeking technology strategies to enhance your business, a parent wanting to expose your children to emerging technologies, or an inquiring mind who wants to know what’s on the technology horizon in Arkansas and nationally, this is your event,” Cruz-Neira said. “You will be amazed to see all that is happening in the virtual world right here at UA Little Rock.”

The event is free and open to the public. The Emerging Analytics Center is located on the fifth floor of the George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology building. Visit the website for free tickets to the Open House.

In the upper right photo, Emerging Analytics Center Student Researcher Ramiro Serrano Vergel dissects a virtual corpse on the Immersive virtual reality table at the EAC. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications. 

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