• In 2014,  not only their entrance into 3D printing, but also introduced the concept of “blended reality” with , a platform that, among other features, allows users to translate physical objects into 3D models simply by placing them on a 3D scanning bed in front of the Sprout computer monitor. Once the object has been scanned into the virtual world, the user can manipulate it with his or her hands or a stylus, and then 3D print it once any changes have been made. It’s an incredible technology that HP has been over the past two and a half years, and in November, the company began a collaboration with to research and develop blended reality applications.

    Over the past six months, professors and students from multiple Yale institutions have worked in teams, using Sprout Pros, augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D printing to test use cases for blended reality in classrooms, labs, and other educational settings. The collaboration will continue through October 2017, after which the two institutions will publish a monograph entitled “Making the Future: 3D in Academe.” It will be co-authored by Gus Schmedlen, VP of Worldwide Education at HP, and John Eberhart, principal investigator on the project and member of Yale’s School of Architecture faculty.

    “The HP Yale Blended Reality research program explores the frontiers of VR, AR and 3D in higher education at a world top 10 university,” said Schmedlen. “We are very encouraged by the early progress on the instructional and research innovations and look forward to publishing the results this fall.”

    The individual research projects include:

    • , by Ayesha Ramachandran and Marta Figlerowicz, is a seminar course using blended reality to explore how race, class, and gender interact in the virtual and physical worlds.
    • , led by Justin Berry, is a series of workshops in which participants will share their research with each other and the broader Yale community
    • , by Christie DeNizio and Stephanie Gonzalez-Turner, involves the creation of 3D printed sculptures generated from digitally simulated material collisions.
    • , by Bek Anderson, is an attempt to create life-sized holograms that can be viewed without glasses
    • , by Summer Sutton, is a tool that will allow people to physically create using only their minds
    • by Sharon Phu is an augmented reality game that involves protecting one’s snacks with a fruit gun and transforming immediate surroundings into a battleground
    • , by Joel Sanders, David Langdon, and Francesca Carney, will use blended reality to create a design prototype for a safe, inclusive public restroom for all genders, ages and abilities
    • , by Michael Anderson and Collin Moret, aims to replace four missing taxidermied birds from the university’s collection by scanning and 3D printing a remaining one

    The final results of the projects will be published in October at the Higher Education conference in Philadelphia. The Yale collaboration is only one of the educational initiatives that HP is involved in at the moment; they’re also working on the “Reinvent the Classroom” project with . The project includes the Digital Promise Global initiative as well as the Learning Studios network.

    We’ve seen some other brilliant ideas come from academics using the Sprout to , and we can’t wait to see what comes from the final Yale projects in October. You can learn more about the HP/Yale Blended Reality collaboration. Discuss in the forum at 3DPB.com.

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