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OSVR signs up leading universities for Academia program

Some of the top research institutions will be able to experiment with design for VR experiences

Gaming accessories firm Razer today announced that its Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) initiative has added nearly 30 institutions to the OSVR Academia program, which provides hardware development kits (HDKs) and support to their research facilities. Hardware designs and software can also be downloaded for free at The goal is to make it easier for leading minds in research and development to set the course for the next evolution in VR design.

"The technologies that drive virtual reality are changing quickly, and a standardized platform like OSVR enables technology to adapt to that shift more quickly than ever before," says Aaron Westre from the Virtual Reality Design Lab at the University of Minnesota. "We need to integrate new hardware devices and software techniques as soon as they're available. The modular architecture of OSVR offers us an efficient platform to increase our agility and invent new VR experiences for users."

"The inability to alter software to serve the research objectives of higher education is a roadblock that we're now able to overcome," says Nir Keren, Associate Professor at the Virtual Reality Application Center at Iowa State University. "OSVR empowers researchers, game designers and software developers to chart the landscape of virtual reality, gaming, and visualization in the most effective manner."

"OSVR is an important piece of the emerging consumer VR ecosystem," says Eric Hodgson, Director, Smale Interactive Visualization Center at Miami University. "The ability to make so many devices and software interfaces standardized, interoperable, compatible, and interchangeable has the potential to change the way people interact with their hardware and software."

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While applications for the OSVR Academia program are still being accepted and the list of universities is growing, the partners announced so far include:

  • Cracow University of Technology, Poland
  • Desert Research Institute, USA
  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Iowa State University, USA
  • Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy
  • Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Nara Institute of Science and Technology, USA
  • North Dakota State University, USA
  • Ohio University, USA
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • Ryerson University, Canada
  • The Art Institute of Vancouver, Canada
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
  • Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • University College London, UK
  • University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • University of California, Riverside, USA
  • University of California, San Diego, USA
  • University of Central Florida, USA
  • University of Minnesota, USA
  • University of New Mexico, USA
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
  • University of Portsmouth, UK
  • University of Texas at Dallas, USA
  • Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Virginia Tech, USA
  • Wichita State University, USA
  • York University, Canada, USA

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James Brightman avatar
James Brightman: James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.
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