Newschannel 3 . (Matt Loughrin/WWMT) Western Michigan University is entering the world of virtual reality and the school hosted an open house of its new virtual reality lab on Thursday.

University officials say the new virtual reality lab will help expand their educational leverage. “When you put on the headset you’re going to almost immediately believe that you’re somewhere else,” Kevin Abbott, Interactive Media Specialist in the Office of Information Technology, said.

“It’s on a different level than conscious thought. You will simply sort of know that you’re in spot than you were before and you will forget all of the surroundings around you.” The new space is housed in the lower level of Waldo Library and Abbott said the hands-on opportunity will help prepare students for life after school.

“Because it’s so effective at modeling real world simulations we are going to see it permeating industries,” Abbott said. “Our faculty and instructor needs to understand what they’re training their students for.

If it’s going to be used in the future, how is this going to impact our instruction, what do our students need to know as they move into the work force.” The lab holds six stations, equipped with Oculus Rift headsets, Oculus Touch hand controls and PCs programmed with different software. Abbott said students can also create their own virtual reality content to test out. Read more from…

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