Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Expand your knowledge of XR principles and create XR applications

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Course Dates

STARTS ON

December 9, 2021

Course Duration

DURATION

8 weeks, online
5–6 hours per week

Course Duration

Note: For successful completion of the program, you will have to purchase a few hardware and software applications. These are additional costs and are not included in the program fee. Learn more.

A Comprehensive Introduction to XR Technologies

Companies on the cutting edge recognize that extended reality (XR) has the capability to reinvent the way we communicate, experience gaming and other forms of entertainment, and transform industries such as healthcare, real estate, retail and e-commerce.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality from MIT xPRO provides a foundational understanding and conversational fluency in the principles that underlie XR technologies along with the ability to consider users' needs when refining applications or developing new ones. By the end of this eight-week program, you will be better positioned to conceive XR system ideas, communicate them to developers, and make recommendations to clients and other key stakeholders.

Why VR and AR - and Why Now?

According to Forbes, XR technologies, including VR and AR, will be "one of the most transformative tech trends of the next five years." Organizations of all types will be looking for technology professionals with the knowledge base, vision, and skills to implement VR and AR applications that provide a competitive edge.

23 Million

Projected number of jobs that will be enhanced by VR and AR technologies by 2030

Source: Statistica

$114,542

Average base salary for a VR/AR developer

Source: glassdoor

Who Is This Program For?

This eight-week program is ideal for seasoned professionals who want to expand their learning horizons and explore the rapidly growing field of XR technologies.

  • Designers: UX/3D UI/interaction designers looking to expand their knowledge base and gain a technical understanding of how computer graphics function (particularly in gaming applications) and advance their careers by learning how to construct a VR environment and build end-to-end XR solutions for client organizations and construct a VR environment
  • Leaders & Managers: Industry leaders and managers focused on VR/AR product development who want to have more informed conversations with developers and engineers about improving user experience for existing products and services and offering new innovations
  • Developers: Unity developers, app developers, and 3D developers focused on VR/AR apps and experiences who want to expand their technical knowledge of XR technologies and their practical applications, such as learning how to create a complete XR project pitch for their clients

Key Takeaways

Over the course of this eight-week program, you will learn the principles of designing effective and engaging XR experiences that are inclusive and promote social good. Specifically:

  • You will acquire the essential vocabulary and knowledge of XR concepts to communicate meaningfully with different stakeholders.
  • You will expand your knowledge of XR system elements in addition to design principles, approaches, and processes. Crucially, you will also learn to consider users' needs and values in XR design.
  • You will apply XR concepts and design principles to create XR applications.
  • In the process, you will gain some introductory hands-on experience with XR system development, and better understand how to conceive XR system development ideas and communicate with developers.
  • Finally, you will explore the broader implications of XR technologies, including the new opportunities they provide, enabling you to make recommendations to clients and other key audiences.

Program Highlights

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Earn a certificate from MIT xPRO to recognize your skills and success

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Insights from renowned MIT faculty and experts

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Activities and assignments in each module demonstrate your understanding of concepts

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Learn to define, visualize, and pitch your XR game concept

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New information is connected to existing knowledge and real-world tasks

Program Topics

Week 1:

Introduction to Technologies of Virtuality

Learn fundamental XR concepts and characteristics, and explore basic questions regarding the nature of virtuality. You will also get introduced to XR hardware and software and learn about XR applications across different industries.

Week 2:

Producing VR and AR Experiences I: Design Overview

Get the big picture of XR experience design, starting with the key terms used in the XR design process. You will also explore key design elements, principles, and approaches and learn to consider user needs and values in the design.

Week 3:

Producing VR and AR Experiences II: Design Processes

Take a deeper dive into XR design processes, including a look at how to build prototypes, such as a use case for a VR system and a mood board for an XR game on a topic of your choice. You'll also try out digital and immersive authoring tools for XR design.

Week 4:

XR Apps Development

Gain high-level experience with XR system development fundamentals so that you can communicate better with developers. This includes experimenting with different techniques for capturing 3D spaces, structuring user interactions, and using and adapting software code. You'll also learn aspects of development for photo-based, computer-graphics-based, and multiple other types of XR.

Week 5:

Game Development

Explore the immersive nature of XR technology and its use in creative storytelling for gaming industry applications. Apply what you've learned by pitching a concept for an XR game and building a prototype of a narrative XR game scenario.

Week 6:

XR Communication and Social Applications

Consider both the promise and the peril of XR systems for social impact by examining the benefits and drawbacks of XR for communication and collaboration. Learn the principles for effective collaborative work in computational environments and practice being mindful of the responsibility to factor inclusivity and socio-ethical issues into XR experience design.

Week 7:

Evaluating XR Systems

Learn both the Why? and the How? of XR system evaluations by studying various aims and methodologies. Determine which evaluation methods to use for different XR applications or games, as well as how the data types retrievable from XR hardware and software might be used in evaluating XR design.

Week 8:

Broader Implications of XR

Examine the broader implications of XR, including a look at how computational technologies can integrate simulated experiences with the physical world - particularly beyond experiences enabled by XR technologies (such as VR headsets). You will also review how artificial intelligence (AI), fictitious worlds, and XR technologies can help you learn and work better virtually, even in non-remote settings, and how to assess whether ideas are innovative enough to justify creating or deploying XR technologies.

Week 1:

Introduction to Technologies of Virtuality

Learn fundamental XR concepts and characteristics, and explore basic questions regarding the nature of virtuality. You will also get introduced to XR hardware and software and learn about XR applications across different industries.

Week 5:

Game Development

Explore the immersive nature of XR technology and its use in creative storytelling for gaming industry applications. Apply what you've learned by pitching a concept for an XR game and building a prototype of a narrative XR game scenario.

Week 2:

Producing VR and AR Experiences I: Design Overview

Get the big picture of XR experience design, starting with the key terms used in the XR design process. You will also explore key design elements, principles, and approaches and learn to consider user needs and values in the design.

Week 6:

XR Communication and Social Applications

Consider both the promise and the peril of XR systems for social impact by examining the benefits and drawbacks of XR for communication and collaboration. Learn the principles for effective collaborative work in computational environments and practice being mindful of the responsibility to factor inclusivity and socio-ethical issues into XR experience design.

Week 3:

Producing VR and AR Experiences II: Design Processes

Take a deeper dive into XR design processes, including a look at how to build prototypes, such as a use case for a VR system and a mood board for an XR game on a topic of your choice. You'll also try out digital and immersive authoring tools for XR design.

Week 7:

Evaluating XR Systems

Learn both the Why? and the How? of XR system evaluations by studying various aims and methodologies. Determine which evaluation methods to use for different XR applications or games, as well as how the data types retrievable from XR hardware and software might be used in evaluating XR design.

Week 4:

XR Apps Development

Gain high-level experience with XR system development fundamentals so that you can communicate better with developers. This includes experimenting with different techniques for capturing 3D spaces, structuring user interactions, and using and adapting software code. You'll also learn aspects of development for photo-based, computer-graphics-based, and multiple other types of XR.

Week 8:

Broader Implications of XR

Examine the broader implications of XR, including a look at how computational technologies can integrate simulated experiences with the physical world - particularly beyond experiences enabled by XR technologies (such as VR headsets). You will also review how artificial intelligence (AI), fictitious worlds, and XR technologies can help you learn and work better virtually, even in non-remote settings, and how to assess whether ideas are innovative enough to justify creating or deploying XR technologies.

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System and Applications Requirements

  • To experience VR apps, you will need to purchase a VR headset such as Merge VR Headset (compatible with most iOS and Android smartphones; preferred; phones from 123 mm to 156 mm)
  • To test if your mobile device is VR/AR compatible, visit https://vrtest.ninja/
  • To experience VR/AR apps, your mobile phone must have an iPhone Operating System (iOS) or Android Operating System (OS) with a camera
  • Other headsets that may be used to experience VR/AR include: HTC Vive | Oculus Quest | PlayStation VR | Magic Leap | Microsoft HoloLens
  • In addition, as you progress through the program, you will need to install trial and/or free software required for making XR components, such as Unity Personal and Qlone. For example, to view the 360-degree prototypes you will make in Module 3, you will download the VR Media Player for Android or the VR Player for iPhone users.

Program Faculty

Faculty Member D. Fox Harrell

D. Fox Harrell

Professor of Digital Media & Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Comparative Studies Program (CMS); Director of the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality

Professor D. Fox Harrell’s research focuses on pioneering new forms of computational media such as interactive narrative technologies, virtual and augmented reality systems, videogames for social change, and simulations of social phenomena. His research also results in new AI-based tools for analyzing social phenomena in computational media... More info

Guest Speakers

Faculty Member Allison Crank

Allison Crank

Former Head of Digital Experiences, wowl

Allison Crank is a UX designer and researcher exploring the intersection of art, technology, and architecture. Currently, she works as a freelance UX designer for video games and immersive experiences and builds tools for interactive narrative storytelling. Previously, she was head of digital experiences at wowl, an XR studio based in Switzerland that specializes in commercial experiences for luxury brands and was a design researcher at the EPFL+ECAL lab, a design research lab for digital innovation leading a two-year HCI research project on designing immersive experiences for public space – in particular, for the UNESCO-recognized Montreux Jazz digital archives. On the side, she researches HCI for public spaces and teaches at the AA Visiting School and the HSLU in Lucerne.

Faculty Member Andrea Kim

Andrea Kim

Documentary Media Artist and Fulbright Research Fellow, Seoul Institute of the Arts

Andrea is an interdisciplinary researcher and multimedia artist based in Los Angeles. Her work explores avatar embodiment, virtual idols, and cultural theory, with a focus on identity in social VR and XR performance. She earned master’s degree from MIT Comparative Media Studies Program (S.M.) and undergraduate degree from the Duke University Literature Program (B.A.). Her digital media work ranges from immersive (XR) and participatory to civic media forms. Previously, she worked with the Center for Global Women's Health Technologies at Duke University as the director of The (In)visible Organ, a documentary film and arts-based reproductive health education initiative.

Faculty Member Antoine Cayrol

Antoine Cayrol

Co-Founder and Producer, Atlas V

Antoine is a French producer with 15 years of experience creating immersive works, transmedia documentaries, short films, music videos, and high-end commercials. His company specializes in the development, production, and distribution of VR, AR, and MR works. His award-winning projects include Gloomy Eyes (Annecy Cristal 2019, SXSW best narrative 2019), Spheres (Venice International Film Festival Grand Prize 2018), and Vestige (Peabody Award 2019). Antoine was also the founder and CEO of Fatcat Films, a company he sold to the audiovisual group Première Heure.

Faculty Member Vik Parthiban

Vik Parthiban

Director of Product and Innovation at Arrow Electronics, Digital SaaS; Research Affiliate at MIT

An inventor, engineer, and entrepreneur at heart, Vik desires to positively change how we interact using technology. He leads engineering teams through the full product journey from ideation through research, prototyping, engineering, and QA to production. While a graduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab, Vik developed multimodal XR interfaces and photonics for holographic displays. He also served as the team captain of the award-winning MIT Hyperloop II team, where he drove the development of the world's first autonomous electric hovercraft for Elon Musk's SpaceX and The Boring Company. His work has been featured in MIT, Wired magazine, TEDx, and The University of Texas at Austin.

Certificate

Example image of certificate that will be awarded after successful completion of this program

Certificate

Get recognized! Upon successful completion of this course, MIT xPRO grants a certificate of completion to participants. This course is graded as a pass or fail; participants must receive 75% to pass and obtain the certificate of completion.

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Note: After successful completion of program, your verified digital certificate will be emailed, at no additional cost, in the name you used when registering for the program. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of MIT.

Registration for this program is done through Emeritus. You can contact us at mit@emeritus.org
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