From catching Pokémon in the real world to donning a virtual reality headset to see and feel what it was like to scale the Berlin Wall before its fall, advancements in immersive media have set the stage for the next digital revolution.

The University of Maryland will take part in this revolution with the launch of the Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center, called MAVRIC, which has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“The project promises to make our entire region a national hot spot for immersive media development,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “It will become an economic and technological boon to Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.”

Co-funded by the university and the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies program i6 Challenge Grant award, MAVRIC will build on university assets such as the new Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation, as well as other relevant assets across the region.

The center will aggregate and accelerate the research and training capabilities of universities in region, the direct needs and projects of the corporate and public sector, and the innovation engine of startup and small businesses to advance mixed, augmented, and virtual reality technologies in three select verticals: media, simulation and training, and arts and entertainment.

(Next page: What is immersive media, and how is it impacting the world?)

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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