MDM Program Launching an xR Prototyping Lab

MDM Program Launching an xR Prototyping Lab

This summer the MDM Program will launch an xR Prototyping lab. The initiative, led by Dr Patrick Pennefather is intended to support projects and partnerships with developers categorizing themselves within the xR umbrella. "We are well-positioned to support the development of xR prototypes, like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Microsoft Mixed Reality and (anything)R and have already been active in this area for the past 5 years," Pennefather says.

Besides larger xR projects on the roster including a unique collaboration with BCIT, UBC and SFU, the prototyping lab will be dedicated to creating an adaptive xR prototyping pipeline. The xR Prototyping Lab will in itself, be a working prototype, intended to align research interests with other companies, organizations and institutions that form part of the recently announced Canadian Digital Technology Supercluster.

We are well-positioned to support the development of xR prototypes, like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Microsoft Mixed Reality and (anything)R and have already been active in this area for the past 5 years.”

For the launch of this summer’s initiative, Pennefather has lined up four partnerships to work with a dedicated MDM Program student team on a series of rapid xR prototyping sprints.

The idea is to adapt existing rapid development processes, such as GV and others in order to rapidly prototype VR, AR, MR and hybrid reality projects. "We want to work across several verticals in the reality space because there are many organizations, companies, researchers and start-ups who have these initial ideas that they simply don’t have the resources to jumpstart, to test if they have potential and to learn from the process in order to accelerate their own project developments." This, according to Pennefather is one of the gaps that the xR Prototyping Labs will fill.

We want to work across several verticals in the reality space because there are many organizations, companies, researchers and start-ups who have these initial ideas that they simply don’t have the resources to jumpstart, to test if they have potential and to learn from the process in order to accelerate their own project developments."

A recent surge of meetups and meetings across institutions in order to align interests, and strategize how post-secondary will be involved in supporting the xR space, demonstrate a strong will for institutions to make offers that can support this burgeoning ecosystem.

As the MDM Program and the larger CDM district are both in themselves successful prototypes of cross-institutional collaboration (between SFU, UBC, BCIT and ECUAD), Pennefather believes the xR Prototyping Lab is well situated geographically to bridge teaching, learning and research initiatives that will benefit the post-secondary community, developers dedicated to creating consumer and business xR solutions, and importantly, the public, our audience who have demonstrated a thirst for the unique experiences and solutions that xR projects afford.

"We have a unique vision and part of this mandate has always been to bridge our activities with various digital media communities of practice," says director Dr Richard Smith.

The MDM Program has been developing prototyping processes with our faculty and industry partners since its inception. The xR Prototyping Lab is an initiative that will not only be of practical benefit to those considering development in the xR space. The documentation and research that comes out of the lab is intended to support xR initiatives in BC and the rest of Canada as well.  

We look forward to working with our initial five client partners this summer.

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Want to see what else MDM students are working on in the xR space?

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