ATLANTA—Dr. Adrienne Lester King and Dr. Laura Salazar, professors in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, have been awarded Responsible Innovation research grants from Facebook Reality Labs to study the impact of augmented reality, virtual reality, and smart device technology.
The Facebook Research program selected proposals that were committed to accelerating research to build the next computing platform that is focused on user-privacy and inclusive of diverse social groups and user/non-user experiences across the globe.
Dr. King, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences, will research the pedagogical benefits of virtual reality to offer new ways to achieve a more student-centered and teacher-centered double-centered approach.
Her project, Using Virtual Reality to Bridge the Gap with Emphasis on Social Interaction, was selected for its focus on understanding user interaction in social virtual reality experiences and how these experiences impact users. Dr. King will use Oculus headsets to simulate laboratory applications to analyze scientific problems and use virtual reality to introduce and increase bioethical education.
“The concept of virtual reality (VR) is shaping how students are being educated today with increased emphasis on student’s learning experiences,” said Dr. King.
Dr. Salazar’s proposal was selected for its goal to accelerate research on the user and non-user experiences of augmented reality and virtual reality devices across different social groups and cultures.
Her project will bring in experts from Georgia State’s Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII) to produce a film using volumetric film technology. Titled Consider ME, the final product will feature the personal narratives of Black and Brown individuals describing their experiences related to racism and racial injustice. The project aims to serve as an immersive and interactive online platform for combatting racial injustice.
“Our goal is to use the power of personal narratives deployed in virtual or augmented reality to create an affecting and widely-accessible advocacy platform that engenders empathy and moves us in the direction of racial equity,” said Dr. Salazar, a professor in the Department of Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences.
Dr. King and Dr. Salazar’s proposals were selected from a global pool of over 155 applications from more than 100 universities. Learn more about the Facebook Reality Labs’ program guided by their Responsible Innovation Principles.