Michigan Firms and Students are Taking Advantage of Virtual Technology


Across the United States, there are 21.1 million firms without any employees. On the other hand, in West Michigan, while there are a few organizations without employees, many companies are training their employees to focus more on virtual reality.

According to MiBiz, thanks to the successful video game programs at University of Michigan and Michigan State University, local firms are able to work alongside graduates to break into the virtual reality field.

"The general approach that video game design programs follow with emphasis on user experiences is a fantastic match for what we do," said Michael Carnevale, principal at Carnevale ID LLC, a user experience design and software development firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Carnevale's company has doubled its virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) business over the last few years because this innovative technology is becoming increasingly popular across the business sector, from the automotive industry to the healthcare industry. The video game industry, in particular, is implementing VR tech to their product development more than any other industry, and it looks like Michigan grads are going to help revolutionize the video game industry of the future.

"We actually seek out developers with a background in game design and game development because they’ve generally been exposed to the types of software that match very closely to what we’re doing," added Carnevale. "From a talent standpoint, we need the same skills as a VR game developer."

In addition to virtual reality gaming, there are plenty of other ways to use this technology to better the world. Two other Michigan students, Tommy Truong and Eric Martin, of MSU, are hoping to branch out and actually use virtual reality technology to improve the way kids learn in all fields, not just game design.

Michigan Radio states that the two MSU students have developed a few 360-degree immersive environments that showcase historic monuments and landmarks. The Colosseum in Rome, the Lincoln Memorial, and other educational sites are all part of their new program.

"It utilizes what 86% of undergraduates in the United States already have in their hands and their pockets, a smartphone," said Truong.

Truong and Martin have already presented their findings at five design and education conferences throughout Michigan and Washington, D.C.

For full story, pick up a copy of the MONTH XX issue of The Allegan County News/The Union Enterprise/The Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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