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Virtual Reality

As VR and AR technologies continue to improve, the Sonoco Institute looks for unique ways to leverage them for use in the printing and packaging industries.

Our primary project is to develop an interactive print lab for workforce education and training. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the printing industry has seen a 25% decrease in employment over the past 10 years. It comes as no surprise that as seasoned employees are reaching retirement age, quality talent is needed to replenish the workforce.

Imagine the impact of immersing high school and technical college students in a virtual print world where they can learn, hands-on, about the ins and outs of printing in a safe and portable environment. VR provides a unique opportunity for industry promotion and in-the-field training, where press operation is safer and more cost-effective.

The Sonoco Institute is seeking partners for this initiative. It is a great opportunity to shine light on your company's commitment to workforce development. Email Bobby Congdon or call 864-650-2762 for more information.

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Another project, CUshopVR, extends our consumer behavior shop into the virtual space, allowing for great flexibility and control in a highly portable platform. Users are fully immersed in the virtual store where they can interact with all of the products, allowing them to pick up, inspect and place items in a shopping basket. Graduate research is underway utilizing a color blindness simulation in CUshopVR to study the search-and-attention behaviors of consumers with color deficiencies. Work is also being done to integrate the eye-tracking capabilities from our on-campus CUshop™ to perform consumer behavior studies on-the-go.

For more information about our VR applications and how you can partner with the Sonoco Institute, contact Bobby Congdon or Nate Newsome.