SAC awarded Create with VR grant from Unity and Meta Immersive Learning

February 13, 2023

Office of Marketing & Strategic Communications

A grant from Unity and Meta (formerly Facebook) will help introduce SAC engineering students to virtual reality application development.

VR Headsets.jpgSAC was recently awarded the Create with VR Grant, which provides educators with the required hardware to train the next generation of metaverse creators. The grant provided SAC with 20 Meta Quest 2 headsets, each valued at approximately $500, to be used in support of Dr. Henry Griffith’s work in developing metaverse training pathways within the engineering program at SAC.

Griffith, Department Chair of Mathematics, Architecture, Physics, and Engineering (MAPE) and assistant engineering professor, has been heavily involved with research developing virtual reality hardware over the past few years. In his prior work at Texas State University, he worked on projects funded by Google and Meta to accelerate the integration of eye tracking technology within these devices in order to improve the user authentication experience and display technology.

“The metaverse is an industry term used to describe an immersive virtual environment which allows users to interact with each other and digital representations of the surrounding world,” Griffith said. “The metaverse will transform nearly all industries over the next decade, creating significant employment opportunities. Within the greater San Antonio area, many local employers within the defense industry are already developing metaverse applications to train individuals on high-risk and complex tasks in safe environment.”   

VR Headstes web.jpgThe hardware will initially be used within the Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Graphics course at SAC. Eventually, the headsets will be used within new coursework being developed as part of SAC engineering’s expanding workforce offerings which is focused on providing training opportunities in emerging technologies.

“This grant will provide us with the required hardware to integrate metaverse development within our existing coursework, and to develop new training pathways which prepare students for jobs as metaverse developers,” Griffith said. “This new content is consistent with our mission to ensure that our students have exposure to emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and the metaverse, throughout their engineering training at SAC.”