Robertson Media Center Blazes New Frontier - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Robertson Media Center Blazes New Frontier

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3-D software and suit being used. 3-D software and suit being used.
Immersion dome in the Robertson Media Center. Immersion dome in the Robertson Media Center.

The University of Virginia's Robertson Media Center in Clemons Library is now home to some amazing new technology, thanks to a school grant.

The media center says the possibilities are virtually endless. With the new technology, students from any discipline can transport themselves and their environments to the digital world.

The Robertson Media Center at UVA is blazing a new frontier. This year, the media library got a high-tech makeover. Now students and professors have access to a classroom in a box.

Todd Burks, with outreach and public services at the Robertson Media Center, said with 22 iPads, "We can go anywhere on grounds and teach a class at a moment's notice."

In the media center, an immersion dome, which is a multi-projection screen, wraps around your desk and transports you to another part of the university or to an environment you design.

Arin Bennett, with the digital media lab, said, "We've had some architects, you know, basically reconstructing landscapes from Tibet and so you could take that then, and place it on here, for you know, full immersion."

There's also an interactive presentation wall and a 3-D suit. The new technology gives scholars the opportunity to create characters and worlds that would not be possible without digital enhancement.

"It's taken tools that would have previously been only available in departments um or have been too expensive for them to access and it's putting them in a common area," explained Bennett.

The media center says the technology will benefit scholars from all disciplines.

Jama Coartney, also with the media lab, said anyone from the university can use the lab, "Whether it's [the] school of nursing wanting to put together training simulations or it's the school of engineering um you know or architecture wanting to look at blueprints."

Now it's up to everyone to blaze the trail. "Because these tools are so new, our goal has been to put them in a public area and so we're going to let the patrons tell us um what they're going to use it for," said Bennett.

The media center says they hope students and professors will take advantage of the new technology, and that soon they'll start seeing students traveling to colonial Williamsburg or giving new life to animated characters right there in the library.

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