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This free VR platform is helping universities experiment with the next frontier of tech

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Twenty leading universities will receive open source virtual reality hardware dev kits as part of a new OSVR academia program, organizers of the Open Source Virtual Reality announced today.

OSVR is a software platform that is designed to create an open standard for VR. With the academic program, universities will be offered open-source hardware design and software framework, providing a high-fidelity, wide visual field and onboard video processing in a hackable form. Both hardware designs and software can be downloaded free of charge at the official OSVR website.

The creation of a standardized and open-source platform for VR is said to help to experiment with and discover new virtual reality experiences.

"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," said 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," said 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."

You can check out if your university is included in the program below:

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