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Mixed Reality Studio in Gigabit Lab ready for LS launch

Megan Terry has fun at the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Central Missouri’s Lee’s Summit campus.

Megan Terry has fun at the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Central Missouri’s Lee’s Summit campus.

Courtesy photo

A new lab at the University of Central Missouri’s Lee’s Summit campus will aim to give students and local entrepreneurs a chance to explore what’s possible in the fields of virtual and augmented reality.

The launch for the Mixed Reality Studio in its Gigabit Lab is set for Global Entrepreneurship Week, which starts Nov. 16. Coronavirus concerns could delay or limit the public opening.

Money for the new equipment came through the MoExcels initiative from the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

“This is all new. Before, there was no virtual reality or augmented reality equipment here,” said Joe Mullins, a consultant for the university’s Center for Workforce and Professional Education. “We are starting from scratch and trying to see where we can go with it.”

With virtual reality, once you put on the headset, everywhere you look is a created digital landscape. Augmented reality places digital objects within the real world and is perhaps most well-known through the app Pokémon GO.

Four workstations, each with its own headset, will access various platforms.

Mullins said students and faculty at the university will have free access to the lab, and professionals from the community will be able to buy time on the equipment. They’re still working out a fee structure.

The idea is for students to gain skills to create training programs and other materials using this equipment. That could mean creating a scenario where medical students work on a virtual patient or someone studying avionics could practice on a virtual engine before going to the real thing.

Mullins said he sees the lab as something that could benefit people across the metro area. Each piece of technology is expensive, and students and entrepreneurs alike might not otherwise have the means to access it.

Non-profit Velocity Lee’s Summit, which supports entrepreneurs, partnered with the university on the lab’s creation.

Jeff Danley, director of innovation and eSports at VMLY&R, got involved with the project through Velocity, which he helped found.

“Joe and I were both on the board of that, and Joe mentioned everything he was wanting to do with this Mixed Reality Lab and really trying to drive innovation at the Missouri Innovation Campus,” Danley said.

The composition of this lab is different than what Danley has seen available in his professional work, and he said the lab is the first of its kind in the Midwest.

“Typically when we see a lab like this, it’s specializing in one company’s technology, and what we’re bringing together with this lab is we’ve got all of the technologies — a lot of the top technology — in one place,” Danley said.

Like Mullins, he sees the lab as having a further reach beyond Lee’s Summit.

Danley is looking forward to seeing how students approach business and creative technology, “once they have access to this technology and see and understand what it

Chris Dickinson ready for Bloodsport match vs Jon Moxley

Chris Dickinson is ready to reintroduce the world to the true vision of pro wrestling. In the process, he also plans to make a lasting impression of his own.

Dickinson is a central figure on wrestling’s independent scene, offering a style that is physical, raw and, oftentimes, gory. He is a perfect fit for Sunday’s Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport show, where he meets the world-renowned Jon Moxley in the main event.

Chris Dickinson and Jon Moxley

Chris Dickinson and Jon Moxley

This meeting is a clash of styles with a lot to prove on each side. A former WWE superstar, Moxley is on top of the industry as the preeminent face and champion of All Elite Wrestling, but he still has a burning fire deep within his soul to prove that he is still the toughest, most versatile worker in the game.

For Dickinson, the trip to Marion County Fairgrounds in Indianapolis for Bloodsport marks his chance to show the wrestling realm that no one is more physical, rough or realistic. And the setting is perfect, as the show, which streams on FITE at 8pm ET, is built around matches that end only by knockout or submission. This is a shoot-style blended with a combat sport foundation, a platform that suits Dickinson’s strengths.

“It’s pro wrestling in its purest form,” said Dickinson. “Because of Josh Barnett and GameChanger Wrestling, you’ll see a style you just won’t ever see on television, anywhere. No fluffy stuff. No angles. It’s pro wrestling, the way it was designed to be presented.”

Moxley has been advertised on the Bloodsport card before, but the universe simply would not allow it to occur. Previously, an elbow injury prevented him from competing against Barnett, a former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then the pandemic wiped away the possibility of Moxley’s next appearance, but now it is finally set to take place, albeit with a different opponent. Barnett has a bare-knuckle boxing fight in Poland later this month, and he chose Dickinson—who served as Moxley’s replacement when he missed Bloodsport 13 months ago—to take the lucrative spot.

“I had to prove myself to Barnett,” said Dickinson. “Now I’m fortunate to train with him. To have his backing, and the backing of GameChanger Wrestling, that means the world to me. Moxley is the biggest star right now in wrestling, so this shows a lot of trust in me. Now he’s coming to my house, and I’m going to deliver.”

Moxley shared his enthusiasm for the match, thrilled to have his shot at making a lasting memory at Bloodsport.

“It’s been a long time in the making, so I’m stoked,” said Moxley. “As long as some 2020 s— doesn’t happen, like Indianapolis getting taken out by a hurricane in the next few hours, then I think the third time is going to be a charm for me.”

One of the industry’s major players, Moxley knows there will be extra pressure for him to deliver on the indie