Rochester Institute of Technology’s new Center for Student Innovation has established its first partnership. Vuzix Corp., a Rochester-based manufacturer of cutting-edge immersive 3-D video eyewear, has entered into a collaborative arrangement to help the university establish a multidisciplinary approach to technology development and problem solving.
As part of its technology teaming agreement, Vuzix will supply RIT’s Center for Student Innovation with the company’s advanced personal display eyewear, software development kits, technical expertise and previews of future product offerings. This will allow RIT to lead in the development of complementary technologies.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with Vuzix, a developer of the world’s most innovative video eyewear available,” says Ian Gatley, director of RIT’s Center for Student Innovation. “It allows us to form multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate students from a wide range of majors to work with their core development teams to address relevant business and technology issues.”
Vuzix designs and manufactures digital displays and eyewear used in a range of commercial, medical and defense applications. The company holds nearly 100 patents on its unique technologies for miniature widescreen displays, head tracking and optical components. One of its upcoming products, see-through “sunglass” displays, will bring 3-D movies and graphics to iPhone users.
Paul Travers, president of Vuzix, adds, “It’s only natural that we team with a premier technology and innovation center that just happens to be in our backyard. We have a special relationship with our RIT co-op employees, and many of our engineering staff are graduates of the university.”
“The beauty of this arrangement,” says Jon Schull, associate professor in RIT’s new Interactive Games and Media Department, “is that it will both expose RIT students to cutting-edge technologies before they even appear on the market and put them in a position to envision and develop new applications for a new generation of student makers and innovators.”
Vuzix has also agreed to further its involvement with the RIT co-op program through ongoing commitments to hire RIT students to work at its facilities. In addition, company representatives will be on campus Saturday, May 2, for Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival to demonstrate its innovative technology in collaboration with RIT students.