National Park College (NPC) Innovative Technologies Center (ITC) hosted Hot Springs
Junior Academy (HSJA) Environmental and Spatial Technologies (EAST) students Tuesday
as they presented a custom built computer to run the ITC’s Oculus Rift virtual reality system.
Eben Sanders, Jackson Evans, Carter Cazenave and Ethan Abel collaborated on the project with the guidance of EAST facilitator Aspen Ham and ITC education coordinator, Dr. Julian Post. The students discussed how they chose each component of the project, the importance of virtual reality in industry and demonstrated the equipment for visitors. Pictured left to right are Ethan Abel, Carter Cazenave, Jackson Evans, and Eben Sanders.
Minimum specs for operating an Oculus device include an i3 6100 CPU or higher, a GTX 960 or higher GPU, at least 8 GB of RAM, and parts that are compatible with 1.3 HDMI. A pre-built computer with these specs would have cost $1300 or more. The students were able to complete a custom-built unit with a faster processor and more RAM for $1150.
The ITC plans to use the Oculus technology to build custom models that can be exported and printed with 3D printers. A time-lapse video of the project can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcY-DUqByP4.