Thanks to a gift of 250 Microsoft® HoloLens® Commercial Suite mixed reality headsets from the Orlando facility of General Dynamics Mission Systems, valued at $1.285 million, UCF students and faculty can use mixed reality to design, simulate and test prototypes, environments and ideas.

The HoloLens® headsets are fully self-contained computers that allow wearers to operate untethered in a hologram-enhanced physical environment. Although mixed reality technology is best known for its use in gaming, the software has myriad uses. Graduate students in Themed Experience can integrate computer-generated holograms into real world spaces to design themed restaurants or rides; physical therapy students can create virtual reality environments for gait and balance training; and students in the School of Performing Arts can use the technology in theatrical set design.

The use of state-of-the-art technology fosters innovation in teaching and learning and is part of the reason UCF is the top-ranked public university in  Florida, in U.S. News & World Report’s Most Innovative Schools category. The university is eighth among the nation’s public colleges and universities and 15th overall, ahead of several Ivy League universities, including Harvard and Yale.

“Given our long-term commitment to the Central Florida region and our deep ties to UCF, General Dynamics Mission Systems is pleased to be able to support UCF’s mission as a leading research university and center of innovation for the region’s economy,” says Roger McNicholas, vice president of General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Orlando facility. “We look forward to seeing how the students at UCF utilize the Hololens® in their research.”

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