Virtual reality workshop gives students an opportunity to experiment

By: Yajaira Santillan

One of the new events happening at Mass Comm Week this year is the Virtual Reality workshop being held in Old Main.

Students have the opportunity to experience the HTC Vive in the Media Innovation Lab that will include an overflow waiting room with Samsung gear 360.The event is being hosted by senior lecturer Jon Zmikly and Dr. Cindy Royal.

Virtual reality is something that is still early on in the tech world. With the couple of years of it being brought out into the world, the HTC Vive is something that shows what a premium VR experience is capable of looking like.

Virtual reality being at its infancy, makes some students believe it’s something that should start being taught at school.

“That’s one of the great things about our program, that it’s kind of on the forefront of what’s next for media and storytelling,” said Sean Smith, a digital media major and first year grad student.

While waiting a turn at trying out the HTC Vive, students experienced the Samsung gear and Google Cardboard goggles. The goggles are an affordable way students can experience the virtual reality world. All you do is put your phone on the back of the cardboard and you can experience VR, with having a user-friendly site that will allow you to do this.

“The goggles are a lot of fun; it’s interesting to see there’s an affordable way to experience VR. You don’t have to go out of your way to spending a lot of money on them,” said Karen Arredondo, a senior mass communication major.

Once it’s the students turn to go and try the HTC Vive, they get the option of choosing to experience Google Earth or to paint and draw figures on a screen. These were just the options offered at the workshop but there are many more options that exist.

All the student has to do is put on a headset and hold two controls and they’re ready to go. With VR being something new in the tech world, there’s a lot people would want to experience in VR.

“Video games or interactive VR, being able to interact with people in other parts of the world,” said Luis Seijo, a senior digital media major.

Virtual reality is slowly becoming more and more heard of across the world. At first the idea of it sounded impossible, but now many people from surgeons to the Navy have found a way for this new technology to help and improve their skills.

“I think we’re still a few years away from it really being accepted…I defintetly think within our lifetimes it’ll be a staple,” said Smith.

Texas State student with VR headset.

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