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The Future Is Now: Exploring Cutting Edge Tech at the Virtual Reality Applications Center

Emily Woodbury/IPR
Using augmented reality headgear, James Oliver navigates a menu only he can see.
The outside of the C6, a six-sided virtual reality cave at Iowa State University. It's the world's highest resolution, fully immersive virtual environment.

Two years ago, the launch of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift was the first time consumers had access to relatively affordable virtual reality. While still not a household staple, market forecasts predict that virtual and augmented reality will be a $40 billion industry by 2020. 

On this edition of River to River, join Iowa Public Radio's Emily Woodbury on a tour of the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) in Ames, where the U.S. military contracts research for training soldiers, vehicles and ships are mapped out before the manufacturing process, and some virtual reality games are put to the test.

She talks with VRAC director, James Oliver, as well as Stephen Gilbert, an assistant professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at ISU.