Unity College recently launched its XR Innovation Lab to bring emerging technologies to students, companies, and organizations, and provide insight into sustainable opportunities and challenges. From Nov. 28-29, the XR Innovation Lab will boldly embark on its first significant venture with its inaugural 24-hour XR EcoHack, according to a news release from the college.

The XR EcoHack will present teams of students representing a variety of institutions with global environmental challenges. The teams will then use their creativity and work together to use emerging eXtended Reality (XR) technologies to create solutions.

“I’m proud that Unity College has educated thousands of environmental leaders throughout its history, while also embracing innovation and new technology so that we can continue to meet the needs of modern learners,“ said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, according to the release. “The XR EcoHack, much like Unity College, merges those two worlds and empowers the next generation of environmental leaders to be the problem solvers we need now and in the future. Not to put too much pressure on our participants, but I hope that in addition to having a blast collaborating within their teams, they come away with tangible solutions to the challenging prompts that we assign them. I cannot wait to see what these teams come up with.”

In May, Unity College brought David Bass-Clark on board as the Director of AR/VR Research and Development. Since then, he has been collaborating with faculty and instructional designers to leverage XR technologies and create immersive educational experiences for students.

The Hackathon is hosted by the Unity College XR Innovation Lab in partnership with Yale Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, University of Michigan’s Alternate Reality Initiative, MetaVRse, Esri, LBX Immersive, and Quinnipiac Game Design & Development.

While this year’s EcoHack quickly reached capacity after it launched, the XR Innovation Lab is seeking participants for next year’s event, as well as partners. Those interested in becoming a participant or partner for future EcoHacks can visit unity.edu.

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