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JMS 472 visits San Diego State University's VITal Lab

December 06, 2017

JMS 472 visits San Diego State University's VITal Lab

Earlier this week JMS 472, Media Technology and Society, visited the VITal lab at SDSU's Instructional Technology Services. The VITal lab offers a variety of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality tools in a flexible learning environment. The space serves as an incubator to enable experiences that would be impossible or out of reach in a traditional learning environment.

JMS 472 looks at the intersection of media technologies and society, and covers a wide range of topics. Earlier in the semester, the class visited the SDSU library to look at rare books from Special Collections, including books from 500 years ago. This trip to the VITal Lab was a follow-up to the library trip to get a glimpse of augmented and virtual reality devices.

"I had only experienced virtual reality once before, but it wasn’t as interactive as this! I was able to get the hang of it very quickly and the more I learned how to use it, the more I was able to experience," said SJMS student Dania Mumtaz. "My favorite aspect was the galaxy explorer. It allowed me to wander through the galaxy and it really felt like I was in the middle of everything that I was experiencing. It was out of this world and it’s amazing to see how we continue to develop such innovative creations."

Professor Noah Arceneaux thinks that society tends to forget that books were "new media" at one time, and are now taken granted. On a related notion, the VR technology in the room is quite new and strange to the students, but within a few years, it may also be a normal, routine part of our daily life.

SJMS student Alex Nobel echoed a similar sentiment, "Playing with the VR goggles and Google Cardboard reminded me of the fun trial and error I experienced with my first smartphone. Hey, it may only be a matter of years before this technology will be just as ubiquitous as the iPhone!"

More information about the VITal lab can be found on the Instructional Technology Services website at https://its.sdsu.edu/vital/.

JSM 472
A student plays tic tac toe in the VITal lab. Photos by Noah Arceneaux