Partners to leverage 5G and VR Headset to expand XR education to 11 Michigan school districts
This Monday, immersive education solutions provider PrismsVR announced a partnership with T-Mobile and Lenawee Intermediary School District (LISD) to distribute its application across 11 Michigan school districts by leveraging 5G networking.
The move will give each chosen rural education institution Meta Quest Headsets equipped with PrismsVR software and 5G integration. The partnership will secure the 11 districts with immersive education tools and the infrastructure to support it. Generally, the program assists schools utilising poor and unreliable network connections hindering the ability of students to connect with emerging education solutions.
According to T-Mobile, over 19 million US citizens have limited internet access, creating a barrier between students and up-to-date learning opportunities; the partnership with PrismsVR and LISD is looking to solve this challenge – empowering students with 5G connectivity.
John Saw, EVP of Advanced & Emerging Technologies, T-Mobile, added:
From major cities to small town America, our 5G network is inspiring and creating opportunities for students to connect with the world around them like never before. Our work with Prisms VR is just another example of our goal to bring 5G innovation to everyone.
The firm notes that while many schools have access to an internet connection. A rural school may not have the connectivity infrastructure to handle numerous internet-intensive devices or applications simultaneously – like VR headsets.
T-Mobile’s 5G network system overcomes outdated internet infrastructures, providing improved resource and time considerations.
Anurupa Ganguly, the CEO and Founder of Prisms VR noted that the firm’s goal is to make math/STEM learning opportunities relevant. Moreover, the CEO explains that PrismsVR connects users to a “world that students want to live in.”
She also added:
VR powered by T-Mobile 5G allows us to democratize access to visceral experiences that empower students to build connections with current and compelling problems and abstract up to math models & equations from there, rather than memorizing procedures in a sterile vacuum. With recent advances in spatial computing, we finally have the opportunity to teach STEM disciplines how they should be taught: through one’s own life experiences.
PrismsVR Launches, from eLearning to Consumer Solution
Since 2021, PrismsVR has been working on expanding its immersive STEM learning solutions as both a dedicated school and consumer XR service. At the same time, as PrismsVR scaled its application, as its eventual partner, T-Mobile, also focused squarely on scaling 5G-ready XR solutions.
In October 2021, PrimsVR gained traction, securing roughly $3 million in a bid to expand an early version of its STEM learning software. PrismsVR secured capital from a phase one funding period worth $250,000 and a phase two grant worth $1.2 million.
Among its various 2021 funders, T-Mobile gave the firm $175,000 in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) support while supporting PrismsVR in deploying its solution by supplying ten Title I schools with VR headsets.
Moreover, in early 2022 PrismsVR expanded its solution across Oklahoma District Schools. The move secured roughly 47 school districts across 13 states with PrismsVR software at the time, with further international pilots.
At the time, the CEO said:
Since our founding, it has been important that people do not see our product as a purely coastal or high tax state solution. That’s not what we’re about. [At Prisms], our goal is to make math exciting and accessible to all students.
PrismsVR also works closely with immersive service administration service ManageXR to streamline its application distribution for education staff members. In 2022, the firm leveraged the ManageXR onboarding service to scale its STEM learning platform to schools in 60 areas, distributing the service across roughly 5,000 Pico and Meta Quest devices for selected institutions.
Moreover, in 2023, PrismsVR continued its application distribution expansion by securing $12.5 million in funding to support a consumer launch model.
Prisms launched its immersive learning service as an application on Meta Quest’s digital storefront for VR/MR applications.
Meta Quest and Pro users can now access the service. The application is available for a seven-day trial from Prisms or $24 as an annual subscription.
T-Mobile, PrismsVR Continued Shared Expansion Goals
PrismsVR joined T-Mobile in its emerging technology expansion goals in 2021 when the firm first became a T-Mobile Accelerator Program member.
In November 2021, T-Mobile and Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, which aimed to accelerate and refine the production cycle of consumer and enterprise-level immersive applications.
As part of the developer platform, T-Mobile ran an accelerator program scaling eight immersive industry start-ups via essential resources and feedback from T-Mobile IT engineers and business leaders – one of the chosen start-ups was PrismsVR.
At the time, Ganguly explained in an exclusive comment that scaling 5G-ready XR provides “strong partnerships between content platforms, hardware providers, and network operators”, which helps K-12 institutions adopt immersive learning goals.
The CEO also noted:
Without T-Mobile’s support to forge critical relationships and set up early-adopting schools with next generation infrastructure, our launch across schools [during the COVID-19 pandemic], which required radical math learning tools the most, would have been impossible.
Additionally, in 2022 before T-Mobile concluded its programme, the firm added three other start-ups to its accelerator ambitions.