Farmingdale Sate College has been awarded $400,000 by the 2017 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), as a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to state investment and economic development. The “Emerging Technologies in Undergraduate Education at Farmingdale State College” grant includes the renovation of Whitman Hall, web streaming technology, and the acquisition of virtual reality / augmented reality – a.k.a. mixed reality – equipment.
The grant was the second largest given to a public college on Long Island. Congratulations to the team that applied to this competition: Brian O’Keefe, Kenneth Tax and Dawn Grzan.
This award marks the second REDC grant secured by Professor O’Keefe of the Visual live streamingCommunications/Interaction Design program. In 2013, Professor O’Keefe was the primary investigator for the “Mobile Experiences for Tourism” REDC grant. This grant designed and developed a mobile application that geo-curated digital augmented reality characters to historical locations through educational 19th century storytelling. The evaluated results predicted an augmented reality interaction model used by the hit Pokemon Go App, three years later.
Professor O’Keefe will be working closely with Kenneth Tax in the School of Business to experiment with and test virtual reality technologies such as Oculus Rift (Facebook), HoloLens (Microsoft), and iMotion. The funding will also help answer questions like “how does mixed reality impact the learning objectives of tomorrow’s classroom?”, “how do we prepare students when AR/VR technologies enter the workplace?”, and “how do interaction designers design new mixed realty experiences that solve human problems?”
Dawn Grzan, Director of Research and Sponsored Program Development, said of the grant: “This funding will help Farmingdale provide immersive learning, which is the next step in the evolution of interactive learning, by integrating virtual/mixed reality technology into the classroom.”