Innovation Update Day: Villanova takes on Virtual Reality and Telepresence

IMG_1460Innovation Update Day was capped off by Ed Dougherty’s talk entitled “Virtual Reality and Telepresence: Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Today.” As director of the engineering entrepreneurship minor at Villanova, Dougherty showcased the various innovations present at the university. Demonstrating the school’s use of virtual reality, he discussed the recently added CAVE. In order to provide an immersive virtual experience, this room displays projections on three of the walls and the ceiling or the floor. He explained the various opportunities that having this facility would offer. For example, people could take virtual tours of the Sistine Chapels, design various molecules and structures, and conduct psychological structures in a unique environment.

In addition, Dougherty explained Villanova’s involvement with Skycam technology. Skycam is a camera that flies around different venues in order to capture videos and pictures from the air. As part of a team developing this technology, Dougherty has won two Emmys and an Academy Award for his work with Skycam. He also has constructed a similar device called Wavecam which can be seen moving around the top of the Pavilion capturing aerial shots of basketball games. Presenting the impressive progress that Villanova faculty and students have made in the College of Engineering was the perfect way to finish a day showcasing diverse innovations across various industries.