Southern Utah University (SUU) is celebrating the inauguration of its cutting-edge Virtual Reality and Augmented Innovation Classroom. This innovative facility promises students immersive experiences in virtual and augmented reality, featuring top-of-the-line equipment such as VR and AR headsets, high-end computers, and specialized software.

The establishment of this VR/AR classroom was made possible through a generous grant of nearly one million dollars awarded to the university in 2022. Spearheaded by individuals including James Brandt, Richard Cozzens, Ben Kirkby, Jeff Cowley, Brandon Wiggins, and Aundrea Frahm, this initiative underscores SUU's commitment to embracing emerging technologies in higher education.

Aundrea Frahm, the VR/AR Director at SUU, expressed the university's eagerness to lead in integrating VR/AR into academic curricula, despite limited research in this area. Already, the grant has facilitated the creation of not only the VR/AR Classroom but also an Innovation Studio and a checkout system for VR/AR equipment.

One notable upcoming event is the XR Southern Summit, a virtual reality conference scheduled for March 29 and March 30 at the Hunter Alumni Conference Center. Offering free admission for registered students, staff, and faculty, this conference aims to explore the potential of VR and AR in various fields.

The VR/AR Classroom has seen significant utilization, with 15 faculty members incorporating it into over 50 classes this academic year. Equipped with state-of-the-art Quest 3 headsets boasting advanced features like hand tracking, the facility caters to diverse academic disciplines, offering modules ranging from anatomy simulations to communication exercises.

Logan Sutera, Vice President of the VR/AR Club, praised the hand tracking feature, likening the experience to being "Tony Stark working in his lab."

Accessible to students, faculty, and staff during specified hours, the VR/AR Classroom serves as a hub for innovation and learning at SUU. Supported by the Center for Teaching Innovation, SUU continues to empower its learning community with the latest technological advancements, fostering a culture of exploration and creativity in education.

Take a Virtual Tour of This Luxury Home in the Woods

A modern home placed in the woods. Your woods. One minute from the mountain biking/trail running and hiking at Squilchuck State Park. Six miles from Mission Ridge and ten minutes from Downtown Wenatchee.

Gallery Credit: Chelsea Fennell with Caldwell Banker Cascade - Wenatchee via

More From KSUB 590/107.7