Simon Fraser University Launches Mixed Reality Event
February 12, 2021
With their student focused in-person ‘StreetFest!’ event cancelled due to the pandemic, Simon Fraser University (SFU) collaborated with Aircards to deliver a highly innovative virtual replacement.
Leveraging Mixed Reality events with Aircards, SFU was able to deliver an engaging and fully virtual version of their annual StreetFest! event, a community street festival hosted every year by SFU and neighboring UniverCity community groups.
The virtual StreetFest! was an impressive multi-platform Mixed Reality experience; all entirely web-based, meaning that no app download was required to access the event. It featured both WebVR and WebAR features, giving SFU students and community members the opportunity to connect in real time in a variety of interactive, digital spaces.
With student interaction made increasingly difficult due to necessary Coronavirus restrictions, providing virtual spaces to connect is important to sustain engagement in University life. Through partnership with Aircards, SFU chose to be at the forefront of innovation, utilizing immersive technologies to deliver fully interactive virtual spaces allowing its students to connect back to the campus from around the globe.
The Mixed Reality event gave students the ability to join virtual spaces using desktop, mobile or VR headset, with simultaneous interaction across all devices.
As part of the Hubs module, Aircards custom created two virtual spaces which were 3D digital twins of real-life, on-campus locations at SFU - including the iconic ‘Academic Quadrangle’. Students were able to join these Hubs spaces together in real-time, featuring a variety of virtual communication tools, including voice and text chat, media sharing and custom avatars.
"With much of our community working and studying remotely, many are struggling with isolation, stress, and anxiety. The platform that Aircards provided for our university allowed us a rare opportunity to strengthen valuable social connections and connect with our community during these unprecedented times."
- Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer, Simon Fraser University
Located within the Hubs spaces were a series of activation points which enabled students to engage with the custom-made Web-based Augmented Reality (WebAR) mini-games and experiences powered by 8th Wall. These interactive features included a fun AR maze game, SFU Gondola face filter and virtual expo booths which students could tap-to-place in their own home.
The virtual StreetFest! was a success, driving significant student and community engagement across a two-day event period. View the video event showcase video on YouTube.
With conferences and events cancelled worldwide, Aircards offers an immersive alternative for forward thinking companies who want to continue to engage their audience at home. For more information, go to http://www.aircards.co
Market-leading provider of WebXR experiences for agencies and brands, including recent high-profile launches with Samsung, Unilever (Pot Noodle) and Verizon. Aircards provides an end-to-end service - from ideation to design, development and hosting.
About Simon Fraser University:
As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey—SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students. The university now boasts more than 165,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.
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