GIGXR Awarded Phase II SBIR Contract to Develop Extended Reality (XR) Simulation Training for Air Force Academy
Introduces HoloChem Mixed Reality Application to Enrich Chemistry Learning by Using Interactive Gamification and Situation-Based Training
GIGXR, provider of extended reality (XR) learning solutions for instructor-led teaching and training, has received a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from AFWERX to develop its Extended Reality (XR) simulation training to help Air Force Academy (USAFA) cadets improve learning and engagement in vital chemistry studies. The $750,000 funding will be allocated to developing HoloChem, a new mixed reality application for USAFA 100 and 200 level chemistry courses.
“Traditional chemistry labs lack the immersive, safe-to-fail environments students need to develop the critical thinking skills for using chemistry in the real world,” said Captain Wale Lawal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry for the U.S. Air Force Academy. “GIGXR’s mixed reality learning solutions allows USAFA educators to immerse students in ultra-realistic, interactive scenarios to transform their understanding of chemistry from rote memorization or rigid ‘cookbook chemistry’ to real-time problem-solving. This kind of learning mimics the challenges they might face in the future, which would otherwise be impossible to simulate or place our students at risk.”
HoloChem leverages GIGXR’s cutting-edge ability to create lifelike mixed reality learning experiments. Traditional chemistry curricula, with its focus on abstract understanding of concepts such as bonding and solvents, fall short in both facilitating learning outcomes and keeping students engaged in the learning process. HoloChem takes those principles out of the lab, off the page and into visually compelling scenarios that use gamification techniques to encourage concept retention and critical thinking skills.
“Being awarded with the Phase II SBIR Contract is an achievement we’re incredibly proud of and marks a milestone in mixed reality’s valuable impact on education,” said David King Lassman, CEO, GIGXR. “We’re honored to be working with the U.S. Air Force Academy, whose reputation for academic excellence and technological innovation is second to none. USAFA needed a product that enabled their instructors to provide hands-on, immersive learning and future-proof execution. HoloChem simulates key real-life experiences that labs simply cannot and allows instructors to reach multiple campuses or remote students to match the ultra-realistic learning experience available to the cadets in the instructor’s own classroom.”
GIGXR is a provider of immersive learning solutions to leading universities and medical systems around the world, including: The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (US), Ursuline College (US), Leeds University (UK), Queensland University (Australia), University of Canberra (Australia), Otago Polytechnic (New Zealand) and more. Its flagship products, HoloPatient and HoloPatient Remote, use volumetric video to create safe-to-fail environments in which medical and nursing students can practice vital diagnostic, communication and clinical reasoning skills.
“We needed a chemistry application that matched the rigor and quality of our institution. Turning to GIGXR was an easy choice, as they have leveraged the capacities of mixed reality to give our cadets the best possible foundation of chemistry knowledge and comprehension,” added Lawal.
Delivered through GIGXR’s SaaS Application Platform, HoloChem will open up new immersive learning experiences for both teachers and students to benefit from tomorrow’s technology today, without having to invest time or resources into learning software. Instructors using the Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset create and share content with students either also wearing headsets or connecting via Android or iOS smartphones and tablets.
“Training and education are extremely compelling use cases for our mixed reality headsets,” said Greg Sullivan, Director of Mixed Reality at Microsoft. “Powerful, versatile hardware supports students in mastering and applying complex concepts. Content developed by our mixed reality partners such as GIGXR transforms the learning process, especially in highly technical applications such as those for USAFA.”
GIGXR and USAFA plan to deploy HoloChem in coursework in early 2022. For more information on GIGXR, visit GIGXR.com. For more information on USAFA, visit usafa.edu. For more information on the Microsoft HoloLens 2, visit microsoft.com/hololens.