Ann Arbor’s BrandXR is collaborating with Detroit’s Wayne State University to launch a novel augmented reality technology that helps medical and chemistry students learn amid COVID-19.
BrandXR’s offering provides augmented reality platforms to help brands create virtual experiences, including shopping, education, training, and marketing.
Wayne State is the first educational institution to use the BrandXR Studio to create a custom augmented reality app — the 3D Molecule Viewer — which creates 3-D models of protein-drug complexes in augmented reality using a smartphone.
From any location, students will be able to learn virtually how drugs interact with their targets on a molecular level and see lesson plans in 3-D. They also will have the opportunity to customize the colors of proteins, ligands, and binding sites, and rotate and zoom in to see live changes for a more in-depth study of the molecule.
In addition, students can share videos and images of their molecular structures with classmates and professors.
Moody Mattan, co-founder and CEO of BrandXR, and a WSU alumnus, says his primary goal in creating the experience was to reduce the learning curve in educating students on the critical interactions that underpin all of the biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, nursing, medical, and pharmacology.
The offering allows students to visualize and manipulate 3-D augmented reality images of drugs structures and how they bind to their targets.
“We wanted to reduce the cost and accessibility barrier to entry, regardless of location, student background, or departmental financial resources of having access to specialized software,” says Mattan. “BrandXR is pleased to provide Wayne State with the 3D Molecule Visualizer because it gives students the chance to visualize and manipulate 3-D holograms anywhere.”
Steven M. Firestine, a professor of pharmaceutical science at WSU, says the free 3D Molecular Viewer App on Android and iOS is perfectly suited to bring students out of their textbooks and into 3-D models that will test their knowledge with advanced practice that can be done anywhere in the world.
“Augmented reality can be practically applied to multiple levels of society to benefit our lives just like students at Wayne State University are benefiting now,” says Kunal Patel, co-founder and chief technology officer of BrandXR. “Collaborating with Wayne State University is the first step in bringing this technology to the field of education and medicine and many beyond such as brand marketing, corporate training, and e-commerce.”
BrandXR also has an office in Orlando, Fla.