Dr. Joseph L. Gabbard Jr.
Dr. Joe Gabbard

(November 17, 2015)  Virginia Tech was one of five institutions nationwide to receive the Microsoft HoloLens Academic Research Grant Award, including $100,000 and two Hololens Development Edition devices. The winning submission, titled "Collaborative Analysis of Large-scale Mixed Reality Data" was awarded to PI Joseph Gabbard (an Associate Professor of Human Factors, ISE) and Co-PI Doug Bowman (Professor of Computer Science), with support from several faculty in the Center for Human-Computer Interaction’s 3DExperiences group.

Housed within the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology, the Center for HCI's 3DExperiences Group is one of the largest interdisciplinary AR/VR groups in the world, consisting of faculty from computer science, human factors, psychology, visual arts, communications, geography, engineering and education.

The funded research will investigate multi-user visualization of, and interaction with, big datasets in collaborative mixed reality environments. The research is inspired by large physical spaces (e.g., museums) that allow users to stand around large objects in expansive spaces, each with individual points of view, but with common ground and the ability to understand what others are looking at and talking about. Using the ICAT Cube, the researchers will develop tools allowing users wearing HoloLens devices to explore and analyze large-scale meteorological datasets, representative of big data, to examine core user interaction issues in multi-user collaborative settings.

Check out the official announcement from Microsoft here.

In response to the news, PI Gabbard noted that, "We are honored to have received this award and level of recognition. Indeed, given the highly competitive field, this award suggests to me that Microsoft acknowledges Virginia Tech's world-class faculty, research and facilities in the areas of Augmented and Mixed Reality. We've worked hard to establish ourselves in this area, and are excited to partner with Microsoft to further our collective knowledge.”

Hololens in VT ICAT Cube
Dr. Joe Gabbard's work will examine multi-user mixed reality interaction using the Hololens in the Virginia Tech ICAT Cube