UMverse and Engage: Redefining Education with VR and AR

The University of Miami (UM) has taken a step in revolutionizing education and professional conferencing by implementing UMverse. This initiative integrates emerging technologies into its learning and research environments. In partnership with ENGAGE, a SaaS Enterprise spatial computing platform, UM has hosted a conference on applying Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in healthcare. 

UMverse: Redefining Education

Recently, Engage teamed up with the University of Miami to host an innovative conference, in partnership with the Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Association (VRARA). The conference, attended by nearly 100 professionals, focused on how immersive technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality are being used in healthcare.

UMverse is not just about adopting the latest technologies; it’s about transforming educational methodologies. By going beyond traditional tools like textbooks and videos, UMverse offers immersive, multisensory experiences and simulations that enhance personalized learning and patient care through advanced research. With over 40 courses already incorporating the ENGAGE platform, UM is paving the way in utilizing VR technology for education.


ENGAGE’s XR platform has become a staple at UM, not just for education but also in specialized training programs. For instance, medical students at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute use an ENGAGE-developed application to learn about using slit lamps for eye examinations. This practical application of VR in medical training highlights the platform’s effectiveness in enhancing educational outcomes.

Dual Attendance Model

One unique feature of the recent UMverse conference was its dual attendance model. While many attended physically at the University of Miami Lakeside conference centre, international attendees participated virtually through the ENGAGE platform. This hybrid conferencing setup exemplifies the future, where physical and virtual presence blend together.

According to Kim Grinfeder, Department Chair of Interactive Media, “Our goal was to have as many attendees as possible at the conference to exchange knowledge on AR and VR; we recognize that not everyone can attend in person. Therefore, we chose a remote participation option using virtual reality, diverging from traditional video conferencing to offer a more immersive experience. Additionally, we decided to employ the same spatial computing platform already in use at our school for instructional purposes.”

With the internet evolving into a real-time 3D experience, virtual conferencing is becoming increasingly popular. The ENGAGE platform looks to offer a more immersive experience than traditional video streaming by enabling participants to interact in a virtual conference room, engage with speakers, and actively participate in discussions from remote locations.


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