Gazebo Gazette

EON Reality, the global leader in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)-based knowledge and skills transfer for industry and education, announces the inauguration of a new Interactive Digital Center in Mississippi alongside its partner, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC). The Center features both a VR Innovation Academy and hub for advanced Extended Reality (XR) solutions.  The VR Innovation Academy will serve as the Gulf Coast region’s new home for educating and training the next generation of XR developers.  The Interactive Digital Center will provide opportunities for interested parties to develop XR solutions for business, industry, and other organizations.

For those who are unfamiliar with EON Reality’s VR Innovation Academy program, the academic institutions are embedded within colleges, universities, and other centers of learning around the world — each one focused on teaching students who are interested in learning how to create AR and VR applications.  It provides both the knowledge and experience necessary for someone looking to get a career in any field related to XR technology, as well as a thorough top-to-bottom understanding of EON-XR. The first classes for the MGCCC VR Innovation Academy commence this summer 2021.

For the MGCCC inauguration, EON Reality President Mats Johansson traveled to the Harrison County Campus in Gulfport — marking the first in-person inauguration since before the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We are very proud to partner with MGCCC on our quest to democratize XR for learning,” Johansson said. “Together we will use XR to help students and workers learn faster retain information longer and make better decisions.”

In addition to the speeches and ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees from both parties — including Project Manager and inaugural VR Innovation Academy trainer Matthew Taylor from EON Reality and Dr. Mary Graham from MGCCC — were joined by important government officials, media, and other valuable participants for the grand opening.

 “During the pandemic, MGCCC began implementing new technologies, such as XR, to enhance remote learning by introducing user-friendly immersive lessons and content.  Embracing emerging technology allowed the college to maintain the rigorous and high-quality education needed by our students despite intermittent shutdowns and reduced classroom/laboratory capacity,” said Dr. Jonathan Woodward, Executive Vice President of Teaching and Learning. “Through the partnership with EON Reality and with the grant provided through the Governor’s Emergency Education Response (GEER) fund for Essential Emergency Educational Services as part of the U.S. Government’s CARES Act, the college is stepping into a new era of technology-based learning, cutting-edge program development and training, and expanded learning opportunities for both college-level and high school students.

The AR/VR/XR technology and software for enhancement of remote skills-based learning will allow the college to provide training for its students and industry partners that will increase efficiency, specificity, and drastically reduce both costs and risks.

The Simulation and Game Design Technology program will help meet the job market demand for AR/VR/XR engineers, which has grown by 1,400 percent in the last year for many sectors, including industrial automation, aerospace, construction, education, and health care. This growth in the job market demand has led to an unprecedented need to rapidly train people to develop AR/VR/XR content.