Nick Bowman, Texas Tech journalism and creative media industries professor, received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award. 

Bowman, according to a Tech news release, will research virtual and augmented reality and lecture at the National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei from January to July 2020.

“This award comes at a really critical time in the development of virtual reality and augmented reality systems,” Bowman said, according to the news release. “We’re seeing the costs of those technologies really start to come down, and the technical know-how required to use them is really quite low. It’s getting to the point that your average consumer could very cheaply and easily put on a headset and, within minutes, find themselves in an immersive digital world.”

Bowman, according to the news release, will work with NCCU Media Psychology Laboratory director Jih Hsuan Lin to research the effects of augmented and virtual reality on psychology and connecting to audiences.

“Sort of like how Hollywood films needed decades to learn how to use cameras and moving picture technology to tell stories, in virtual and augmented reality, we’re not really there in terms of how to leverage the features of the technology to engage audiences in a new way,” Bowman said, according to the news release. “So much of virtual and augmented reality is more like a technology demo than an authentic and unique experience, and we hope to offer some insights into those cognitive, emotional, physical and social demands that might really improve our understandings of tomorrow’s media.”

The award will put Tech on the map for researching this technology, Bowman said, according to the news release.

“It reminds folks that some of the most leading research into 21st century technologies is happening right here in Lubbock and on an international stage,” he said, according to the news release. “It won’t be long before 360-degree video and virtual and augmented reality is a commonplace part of our media ecosystem. I’m proud to take creative media industries and the College of Media & Communication to the front of that pack.”

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