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A Child is Born in Augmented Reality


“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Point your cell phone at the Chapel of St. Basil this Christmas season and you’ll see a little bit of magic. A virtual lantern on the ground warms to a soft glow of light. A figure holding the lantern materializes in augmented reality, and a scene begins to build – first Joseph, then Mary holding baby Jesus, filling in wih a complete nativity scene.

A new app developed by technology group Fuel FX powers this intriguing display, broadcasting UST’s mision in a new dimension. UST alumnus Salim Zakhem, MBA ’96, is the CEO of Fuel FX.

The experience debuted on Dec. 2 at the Deck the Mall Christmas festivities on the Academic Mall, and will run throughout the holiday season, ending on Jan. 6. Come more than once to see enhancements to the experience.

Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes digital imagery over a real-world view, interweaving the two in an immersive experience. This project builds upon UST’s history of collaborating with arists and architects to express its mission in distinctive ways.

An important goal in the University’s renewal plan is to strengthen its Catholic identity. The experience provides a fresh opportunity for visitors to connect in dialogue grounded in the spirit of Christ. Father John Huber, a Basilian Father at UST, said, “We’re using technology as a force for good.”

Come visit the chapel during the holiday season to see the augmented reality nativity display, and look for future displays on campus and around Houston.

About the Author — UST Staff

AvatarThe UST staff strives to bring the most interesting, relevant and topical stories to our audience with each issue. These stories feature current UST students, alumni, professors, staff members and people we work with through our many partnerships. We hope you enjoy this glimpse of the UST community.

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