AFWERX Taps GIGXR for USAF Academy HoloChem App

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GIGXR has received a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from AFWERX to develop its Extended Reality (XR) simulation training to help U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) cadets improve learning and engagement in vital chemistry studies. The $750,000 funding will be allocated to developing HoloChem, a new mixed reality (MR) application for USAFA 100 and 200 level chemistry courses.

“Traditional chemistry labs lack the immersive, safe-to-fail environments students need to develop the critical thinking skills for using chemistry in the real world,” said Captain Wale Lawal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry for the U.S. Air Force Academy. “GIGXR’s mixed reality learning solutions allows USAFA educators to immerse students in ultra-realistic, interactive scenarios to transform their understanding of chemistry from rote memorization or rigid ‘cookbook chemistry’ to real-time problem-solving. This kind of learning mimics the challenges they might face in the future, which would otherwise be impossible to simulate or place our students at risk.”

HoloChem leverages GIGXR’s ability to create lifelike MR learning experiments. Traditional chemistry curricula, with its focus on abstract understanding of concepts such as bonding and solvents, fall short in both facilitating learning outcomes and keeping students engaged in the learning process. HoloChem takes those principles out of the lab, off the page and into visually compelling scenarios that use gamification techniques to encourage concept retention and critical thinking skills.

Delivered through GIGXR’s Saas Application Platform, HoloChem will open up new immersive learning experiences for both teachers and students to benefit from tomorrow’s technology today, without having to invest time or resources into learning software. Instructors using the Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset create and share content with students either also wearing headsets or connecting via Android or iOS smartphones and tablets.

“Training and education are extremely compelling use cases for our mixed reality headsets,” said Greg Sullivan, Director of Mixed Reality at Microsoft. “Powerful, versatile hardware supports students in mastering and applying complex concepts. Content developed by our mixed reality partners such as GIGXR transforms the learning process, especially in highly technical applications such as those for USAFA.”

GIGXR and USAFA plan to deploy HoloChem in coursework in early 2022.

What else is changing in today's today’s military classroom? Find out here.

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