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Virtual Technology Laboratory Launches in Boise to House and Conduct Research for Autism Cross-Reality Institute

September 06, 2019

The College of Art and Architecture now has three statewide Virtual Technology Laboratories, where researchers create virtual environments to better understand how people respond to select scenarios through cognitive and emotive monitoring — and to help users visualize and plan for potential outcomes to critical scenarios.

The newest lab will open this fall at the U of I Boise center to house and conduct research for the Autism Cross Reality Institute (AXR). The AXR was founded by a five-member board of directors, which includes Virtual Technology and Design Program Head John Anderson and U of I alumnus Mitch Alexander, who has a son with autism.

Anderson hopes to engage with private businesses in the medical community through the Boise-based laboratory and is involving interested students in creating sensory environments for the project.

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at