Blog - What is the Immersive Media Initiative?

Authored by Haley Kolb

Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication has been expanding its technology over the past few years with the complete makeover of Scripps Hall and addition of the Schoonover Center. While Schoonover is the College’s new home, previous Scripps School of Journalism hub Scripps Hall has been transformed into a tech haven.

Taking a look inside Scripps, you can find the Game Research and Immersive Design Lab (GRID Lab). The lab opened officially in 2005 and has since received numerous grants to keep up with the ever-evolving world of technology. The most recent grant totaled $878,000 from the Ohio University Innovation Strategy Funds. With this grant, the GRID Lab is purchasing technology that very few colleges across the country have access to. The Immersive Media Initiative (IMI) is a program created to give students real-world experience and leadership training in preparation of jobs that utilize virtual and augmented reality.

The IMI student team is selected based on their talents ranging from 3D modeling to audio and video production. After training on the new technology throughout the 2016 summer, students will now get to work on meaningful projects to hone their skill before they step foot in the industry. These students have the opportunity to receive an entirely different college experience than their peers, creating content that will be used by real clients. The IMI team members are now mentors to other students eager to get involved in immersive technology.

Along with a motion capture room, the GRID Lab proudly boasts virtual reality headsets, 360 degree and 4k quality cameras, Microsoft HoloLens developer kits, Apple, Boxx, and HP workstations and much more. Staff members are looking forward to acquiring even more equipment in the near future as the GRID Lab evolves as technology does.

The future of interactive media is now, and with the help of the Immersive Media Initiative, OU’s GRID Lab will set a precedent of innovation in schools across the country.