Out of this world: 3D learning at the new UAB Virtual Reality Studio

Birmingham, Alabama, UAB Virtual Reality Studio
UAB electrical and computer engineering student Praise Daramola explores virtual reality via a VIVE PRO headset. Screenshot via UAB News

Peer into a beating heart, or fly across the world. Then meet moon man Buzz Aldrin in hologram form. You don’t even have to leave Birmingham—you just have to be a student, faculty or staff member at UAB. Take a look at the new UAB Virtual Reality Studio in Lister Hill Library.

The 3D(etails)

Birmingham, Alabama, UAB Virtual Reality Studio
Screenshot via UAB News

With three workstations equipped with VIVE PRO headsets, the studio offers virtual and augmented reality tools relevant to a variety of disciplines. Available 3D experiences range from travel and sculpture to anatomy, physiology and molecular modeling for drug discovery.

“It’s a different format for the information you would always come to the library for. You’re getting it through another pathway.”

Dorothy Ogdon, emerging technologies librarian at UAB, via UAB News
Birmingham, Alabama, UAB Virtual Reality Studio
The Medicalholodeck experience projects the 3D image of a beating heart right before the user’s eyes. Screenshot via UAB News

For example, take the projected 3D model of a heart and vascular system via a VR experience called Medicalholodeck. “You can walk up to the model and put your head into it … things you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do with a 2D picture,” Ogdon said.

And while it’s been nearly 50 years since Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, he’s still at work in Birmingham, or at least his hologram is. At UAB, the lifelike image talks virtual reality users through a proposed method for a manned human landing on Mars.

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Mars. Photo via Pixabay

Yet another program called Calcflow allows users to input vector equations, create models and export shapes for 3D printing. So what’s created in the virtual world can become part of the real world. Imagine the possibilities.

It’s good to be a college student in the age of technology.

For more about UAB bringing cool tech to Birmingham, check out “Emma, UAB’s new 90-ton cancer-fighting cyclotron, is the coolest thing since sliced bread.

Rushing Waters
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