Fisk University and T-Mobile are Using 5G for its VR Cadaver Lab

Jubilee Hall at Fisk University

The possibilities of what’s possible through virtual reality (VR) are set to explode thanks to 5G.

Students arriving at Fisk University for the Fall 2021 semester will be taking part in an innovative study method thanks to a collaboration from their school, T-Mobile, HTC VIVE, and VictoryXR. A VR human cadaver lab will be available to students pursuing a degree in pre-med and biology.

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Fisk University is one of the nation’s leading HBCUs. The program will be using 5G to power its VR cadaver lab and provide an elevated in-person classroom experience. By combining both digital and in-person learning, Fisk University is hoping to give the best of both worlds to its students.

The VR experience will allow students to see skeletal structures, muscles, and organ systems all while being able to communicate with classmates and professors in person. Professors will be able to take organs out to pass around their classroom for students to hold up close. Students can also enlarge organs to get a closer look. So much so, that students will be able to enlarge them to a scale that allows them to enter them for a unique learning experience.

Fisk University has traditionally opted not to purchase cadavers due to their expensive cost. They also require a lot of maintenance and together it was not a feasible option for the institute. Using virtual cadavers is much cheaper and easier to maintain. Over time, software can be implemented to update the features of the program and expand students’ learning opportunities even further. 

VR is also being used in history classes for students who will be able to travel virtually to the places being discussed in class. As an HBCU, it should be no surprise this will include many important locations and events revolving around the Civil Rights Movement such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“We’re combining the best aspects of virtual and in-person learning, and this is the future of education. Fisk University is emerging as a tech leader among colleges, and our effort to bring a virtual reality cadaver lab to campus exemplifies our commitment to provide students with a state-of-the-art education,” said Dr. Vann Newkirk, the President of Fisk University.

HTC VIVE headsets will allow students to view the VR cadaver created by VictoryXR on the Unity real-time 3D platform. T-Mobile’s Ultra Capacity 5G network will power the program to provide a low latency experience that reacts in real-time. Thanks to the tremendous amount of speed and data 5G is allowing, students will receive immersive experiences including HD graphics for a realistic visual experience. The lower latency levels and increase in data capacity allow T-Mobile’s 5G network to handle more users and inputs at the same time.

Often when consumers envision 5G devices, it can be easy to think of a smartphone or a tablet, but 5G is much more. The All-in-One HTC VIVE Focus 3 and this VR cadaver program are proof. Its crystal-clear audio, HD visual displays, and inside-out tracking and controllers are combining to help change education for the better.

“Advancements in our hardware and 5G networks enable us to power more immersive and engaging learning experiences for students in ways we never imagined,” said HTC’s VP of Operator Solutions, Nigel Newby-House. “We’re excited to collaborate with Fisk University to help pioneer this innovative new model for learning,” he continued.

There are plenty of applications for 5G in education and T-Mobile has helped in these efforts before. Everything from reaching remote markets with better connections to the next-level extended reality (XR) features we see happening at Fisk University are on the table. Beyond a traditional classroom setting, training in various institutions can use XR to simulate practical training exercises in more favorable conditions. Communication can help virtually provide guest speakers via hologram for students to receive unique lectures. Institutions can also streamline their campuses, provide enhanced data for student development, and much more as 5G continues to spread throughout campuses nationwide.

Source: Light Reading