VR/AR technologies at home in Lethbridge

VR/AR technologies at home in Lethbridge

By Tim Kalinowski on March 4, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald tkalinowski@letbridgeherald.com Lethbridge is fast becoming a hub for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) thought and experimentation, says Tyler Forster, president of Collaborative Edge XR. “The Lethbridge (VR/AR) eco-system is really growing rapidly, and with Lethbridge College’s certificate program in augmented reality hopefully being approved for this fall we have involvement with both this institution and other researchers at the University of Lethbridge,” Forster explained. “We also happen to have the chapter president for the Alberta chapter of the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association living right here in Lethbridge.” Collaborative Edge XR hosted a well-attended luncheon last week to inform local businesses and organizations about their VR and AR potential. “We were trying to connect with businesses in Lethbridge and provide some educational experience for a lot of small-business owners and community members who just don’t have the knowledge of what virtual reality and augmented reality is,” said Forster. “A lot of ideas out there are surrounding these immersive technologies as entertainment or as peripheral, and not the fact this will be essential for success, and also just a part of life, in the near future. “We wanted to give those who came out five reasons why you need a strategy today, and that was focused around the fact it is coming in the next three to five years. By then, we will have enormous adoption and enormous acceleration of the utilization and the technology’s development itself.” Forster said the next opportunity for Lethbridge residents to get informed about how VR and AR technologies will intersect more and more with daily life in the coming years will be at Lethbridge College’s second annual Merging Realities conference on April 25. “This year we are going to be focusing on the areas of training and education in virtual reality and augmented reality,” explained Forster. “This will be done in collaboration with a college in Ontario with two simultaneous events being held physically at Lethbridge College and in Ontario. And we will bring the two together by holding the conference in virtual reality again.”
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