Summer school provides fourth industrial revolution skills

The Mixed Reality Accelerator gives students a chance to work with leading tech firms to improve employability

A first-of-its-kind Microsoft HoloLens summer school has helped train participating students in the pioneering technologies that will characterise the next generation of industry.

Hosted by the University of Hull, the Mixed Reality Accelerator began on 18 June and has seen 24 pioneering students working with leading tech company VISR, Microsoft and major companies including AUDI AG, AB InBev UK (the world’s largest brewer and maker of popular beers like Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois); Centrica, and Indian training innovator LearningMate, on groundbreaking proof of concepts.

The results could mark the start of a revolutionary shift in the way billions of workers operate, as part of a borderless global economy fueled by intelligent systems.

Stephen Willis, Chief Finance Officer at the University of Hull, said: “The students involved have learnt from world-leading experts in mixed reality and spatial computing, including Microsoft; have privileged access to cutting-edge technology, and the opportunity to develop their work-related skills by applying that to real challenges in collaboration with some of the biggest companies in the world.”

“The blend of skills and hands-on experience they have gained makes them uniquely employable, and in the future they will be able to go out into our regional, national and international economies and act as catalysts for the large-scale adoption of this game-changing technology.”

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The students involved… have privileged access to cutting-edge technology, and the opportunity to develop their work-related skills by applying that to real challenges in collaboration with some of the biggest companies in the world.– Stephen Willis, University of Hull

He added: “The fact all of this is taking place here at Hull opens up a multitude of opportunities for new applications to boost industry in the region, attract fresh inward investment and kickstart fresh global trade opportunities.”

‘Team Audi’ member Cosmin Dragu, who is a University of Hull computer science graduate, said: “Ours is an ambitious project that has seen us combining technologies in ways that have not been done before, involving both machine learning and image recognition to create an interactive user experience, showing them how to construct an engine from scratch.”

“For me personally, this is a new area of research I have wanted to get into for some time now and I’m excited because I’m also having the chance to use technologies I’m familiar with in new ways.”

University of Hull computer science student Sijan Shrcosh Rana, from ‘Team LearningMate’, added: “Having the opportunity to develop applications in this field and work with Microsoft and so many other major businesses to create something that could have massive implications across industry, is something that will really stand out on my CV.”

VISR Founder and MD Louis Deane added: “Being involved in the change curve that is Mixed reality development is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students involved in our accelerator and they’ll be able to look back in 10 or 20 years’ time and say ‘I helped create that’.”

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