Rochester, MI – Oakland University, the College for Creative Studies and a coalition of regional industry partners have joined forces to establish an augmented reality center (ARC) at Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The ARC will introduce students to cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) technology and provide unique opportunities for these students to work alongside expert faculty and industry partners in applying this technology to various aspects of manufacturing.

Augmented reality offers a means to present information in a highly intuitive and immersive way by superimposing digital images and data on objects in real-time. This merging of the three-dimensional physical world and digital data can open new and better ways to interact with machines, effectively bridging the digital and the physical worlds.

AR technology, which is already widely used in the gaming industry, will play a key role in the future of manufacturing by creating more cost effective and efficient solutions for companies. Training students to use this technology will prepare them for successful careers in this rapidly growing field following graduation.

According to Dr. Louay Chamra, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, the founding partners will serve on an Industrial Advisory Board with Oakland University faculty and bring forward ideas for research, training and workforce development that can be implemented at the ARC for the benefit of students and industry.

“Advancing augmented reality will prepare companies in our region to be more competitive in the global marketplace and more successful in achieving goals that are part of the fourth industrial revolution,” Chamra says. “People often see STEM and industrial design as separate fields, but we create powerful opportunities when we bring these subjects together synergistically to improve efficiency and advance industry all around us.”

Founding industry partners include ABB Inc., AM General, Continental, General Motors, Hirotec America, KUKA Robotics, Magna International, MAHLE Industries, Rave Computer, Siemens, and US Military Ground Vehicle Systems.

Epic Games is providing support through its Epic MegaGrants Program, a $100 million initiative designed to service and assist game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing outstanding work with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

To learn more about OU’s augmented reality center, visit oakland.edu/secs/labs-and-centers/augmented-reality-center or contact OU’s Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Irene Spanos at (248) 370-4915.