180 Needham St. Newton, MA 02464

Empow Labs is giving a sneak peek at its XR Digital Makerspace

Newton collaborative space for emerging technology opens this May

Empow Labs announces new slate of programs in AR, VR, Motion Capture, and more.

Newton, MAEmpow Labs: XR Digital Makerspace is announcing a catalog of programs to teens & adults in the surrounding MetroWest, focused on innovative disciplines that are quickly gaining steam in technology advancement. Kicking off on May 21st, Empow Labs is embedding itself into the Greater Boston community with no hesitation, starting with a class focusing on the workflow of creating a digital twin of a real-world environment using a DSLR camera and a drone, and inputting its data into a VR environment. The futuristic workshops don’t stop there, with a motion capture class seen right out of a video game development company: a gymnast with a full “mo-cap” rig will be on-site to demonstrate & capture difficult to animate 3D movements including flips, walk-overs, spins, and somersaults. Although these may seem quite advanced, every workshop Empow Labs is running this May is for anyone merely interested in these tech subjects; no previous experience required. The month is capped off with free workshops in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

“Virtual reality and augmented reality technology is rapidly branching out from simply being used for gaming and entertainment to being an integral part of new, engaging and immersive learning experiences across multiple industries,” says Empow Labs Director, Paul Girardo, who is heading up the Empow Labs initiative.

“The ‘XR’ stands for Extended Reality and refers to a catch-all for all realities, whether it’s virtual, augmented, mixed, etc.” says Empow Labs Marketing Director, Dave Gutierrez. “The XR Digital Makerspace initiative is to build a collaborative center first and foremost, where we can nurture and grow a community of those who have interests in emerging tech, and introduce these modern technology subjects to those who are looking to learn a new craft and add to their professional skill set.”

Empow Labs is designing its programs and curriculum for ages 15 and up, targeting a number of user groups, including educators, makers & hobbyists, professionals, students, corporate training, and more. Their mission is to make technology accessible, even when these subjects may seem too advanced at first glimpse.

“Our focus is to provide opportunities for learning, professional development, and peer networking in the areas of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies, 3D design and modeling, robotics, wearable technology, sensors, IoT (Internet of Things) and human-machine interfaces,” says Empow Labs founder, Leonid Tunik, who also runs the sister brands of Empow Studios and Talent Box. “These are areas that hold significant potential for future career opportunities but are difficult fields to start learning because of the cost of equipment and lack of opportunities to be mentored.”

Empow Labs is currently developing new programs that will run from June through August, as they gear up for a full launch in mid-September. Upon the grand opening, the Lab will announce new membership models, that allow for members to reserve, use, and rent space & equipment, which is chock-full of high-end commercial and consumer products in the various technology they teach.

It’s an exciting time in technology advancements, and Empow Labs is hoping to be on the forefront of educating its community on not just keeping up with trends, but staying ahead of the game. To see all of Empow Labs upcoming programs, please visit the All Classes page here.

May programs with Empow Labs

May 21, 7pm-9pm | Intro to Photogrammetry: Using Real World Environments as Assets in VR: Get a high level overview of the workflow for using a DSLR camera and a drone to create a digital twin of a real environment.
May 22, 10am-1pm | Intro to Motion Capture: Gymnast with motion-capture rig will be attending for a real-time mo-cap experience.
May 24, 9:30am-11am | Intro to Augmented Reality: Learn Augmented Reality concepts, uses, and get hands on with AR equipment by experiencing the latest gear and apps.
May 28, 7pm-9pm | Intro to Virtual Reality: Learn the basic of VR as we discuss different types of devices, headsets and software. Get hands-on with VR apps & technology to get a firm understanding of VR.
May 29, 7pm-9:30pm | Intro & comparison of high-end VR equipment: Learn about the latest and soon-to-be-released VR equipment and its features, best uses, and minimum & recommended system requirements, while students get access to using the equipment hands-on.

To learn more about Empow Labs: XR Digital Makerspace, please visit the Empow Labs homepage here.

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