The Next Generation of VRers?

We are so thankful for the opportunity to introduce 50 or more elementary school students to virtual reality and environmental communication/storytelling today in the Mobile Virtual Reality Lab, which will soon be a $300,000-immersive production studio in Hubert Library! More to come on that later!
The students who experienced VR today were from FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences and Education Summer Camp.
Special thanks to our recent grads (Tatiana, Cathy, and Su) and our soon-to-be-grad Briana who took the lead during this amazing experience of engagement.

Building a VR Community

Industry professionals met at the Mobile Virtual Reality Lab today to discuss forming a South Florida consortium of VR, AR, MR, and AI producers, students, and educators.

Pictured here are (from left) Demetrio Wazar, Michelle McKoy, Rodolfo Peraza, Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr., and Joel Mena. Not pictured (by phone), Fabien Bourdon.

MVR Lab To Host Summer Camp

Summer campers between the ages of 7 and 12 from FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Education will get a chance on July 31 to experience virtual reality through interactions with Oculus Rift and college-student VR projects within the Mobile Virtual Reality Lab.

Led by Lab interns and collaborators, campers will also visit a landlocked mangrove forest on FIU’s campus and then experience the same space in VR video shot and edited by college students to experience issues of verisimilitude, interactivity, production, and environmental storytelling.

College students will mentor students and provide the younger students’ with hands-on experience with the hardware and software needed to make virtual reality products.

Project Wins National Award

Work related to the VirtualEYES project received an award this summer from the Images and Voices of Hope (IVOH) organization related to engagement in storytelling of climate change.

The project also led to an Honorable Mention for a Best Practices in Service Learning in Journalism and Mass Communication award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which will be awarded end of summer.

Student-faculty Research Project Goes Global

Undergraduates through the Mobile Virtual Reality Lab have collected data from 248 participants to discuss how the medium can be used to study issues of racial and geographic perceptions.

An early version of the paper will be presented in November:

Marino, M. I., Bilge, N., Gutsche, Jr., R. E., & Holt, L. (2017). Creating (and examining) immersive environments in virtual reality. Accepted for presentation at Medios y Sociedad Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 3.

Continue reading “Student-faculty Research Project Goes Global”

Crafting a CARTA Experience

Using Adobe Premiere, FIU student and MVR lab producer Briana Boone edits audio and 360 video taken at the Miami Beach Urban Studios. The VR tour of MBUS is one of many parts of VirtualEYES’ upcoming tour of FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture, and the Arts (CARTA).

A Summer of Stitching

Sudyen Navarrete (center) and Kayleen Padron (left) train Visual Storytelling students on how to use the Kodak PixPro and stitching software in the Mobile Virtual Reality Lab.

Students this summer will work in post-production to finalize VR projects.

Out In The (Research) Field

Students from the Mobile Virtual Reality Lab spent Sunday in Southwest Miami-Dade County, recording footage for an experiment we are conducting that examines the degree to which perceptions of race and geography may influence credibility of witnesses to crime.

Students and faculty presented a bit on this work previously this semester:

Gutsche, Jr., R. E., Bilge, N., Marino, M. I., Shumow, M., Holt, L., Castro, C., Ovalle, L., Falkenhagen, J., Hernandez, D., Garcia, E., de Armas, A., Forte, A., Hanna, T., Meléndez, C., & Reyes, L. (2017). “Creating (and examining) immersive environments and nonverbal communication in virtual reality,” FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts Research Retreat, Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden, Coconut Grove, Florida, March 31.

Castro, C., Ovalle, L., Falkenhagen, J., Hernandez, D., Garcia, E., de Armas, A., Forte, A., Hanna, T., Meléndez, C., Reyes, L., Holt, L., Bilge, N., Marino, M. I., Shumow, M., & Gutsche, Jr., R. E. (forthcoming). Creating (and examining) immersive environments in virtual reality. 2017 Conference for Undergraduate Research at FIU, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, March 29.

Photo by Derek Hernandez

VR On Center Stage

More than 200 people attended “A Sea Change” on April 4, a theatrical performance that brought together disciplines across FIU to discuss the threats of and possible solutions to sea level rise and climate change. VirtualEYES highlighted the power of immersion into natural environments.

Photograph by Nicole Betancourt