Immersive Technologies

What are Immersive Technologies?

Immersive technologies include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). They extend and integrate the natural environment into virtual worlds through the use of 360 video, simulations, or an enhanced physical world with computer generated content.

Why use Immersive Technologies?

VR has infinite uses in education, medicine, entertainment, and more. It enables people to transport themselves anywhere in the world or go to places that don’t even exist, to learn new skills through immersive environments, and even experience the world through the eyes of a different person. It can be used for immersive storytelling or journalism (as seen on Within), to create compelling visualizations (with applications like Tiltbrush), or it can be used to promote a cause or recruit a specific group to fulfill an objective (like the VR experience “We Are Alfred”).

What can I do with Immersive technologies?

Immersive Learning Experiences

Faculty at Georgetown are using the following applications in their classes:

  • Rome Reborn takes users through a tour of Ancient Rome.
  • TiltBrush lets you paint in 3D space with Virtual Reality.
  • ,Ocean Acidification Experience allows students to observe firsthand what rocky reefs are expected to look like by the end of the century if we do not curb CO2 emissions.
  • ,Nanome allows students to interact in a nano-scaled world where they can engage with complex DNA strands or atoms at a molecular level.


Hospitals and medical schools are using simulations to enable students to practice surgical techniques in virtual worlds before operating on cadavers or real patients. Augmented reality is an even more practical and highly effective way that surgeons are able to perform remote surgeries using a computer, smart phone, tablet and a simple webcam.

Interactive Content

Geoscience professor Sarah Johnson and her class brought cameras that capture 360 footage out on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers when they were doing water quality testing. They created 360 videos that they later shared with teenagers with intellectual and physical disabilities in the University’s “Best Buddies” program that aren’t able to get out on canoes. "Working closely with the staff of the Gelardin New Media Center, my students merged 360 degree footage they filmed in the field with educational content they designed in line with the pedagogy of “universal design” to produce an immersive, accessible learning experience."

How do I get started with Immersive Technologies?

Visit the Gelardin New Media Center in Lauinger Library to try out a VR headset and talk with a Multimedia Specialist about ways to use immersive technologies in research and teaching or go to to learn more and schedule a consultation.