Campus Life

Texas A&M Launches Virtual Reality Series At SXSW To Share Global Research And Impact

March 10, 2017

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From the tropical islands of Palau where researchers are working to preserve coral reefs, to a behind-the-scenes look at ESPN studios, or deep at sea on a research vessel, to jumping into the stands with tens of thousands of Aggie football fans — all in virtual reality (VR) — Texas A&M University is sharing its global impact in 360-degree VR at South By Southwest (SXSW).

For the first time ever, Texas A&M will participate as a sponsor at the SXSW Festival and Conference in Austin during Interactive Week, beginning today through March 15, showcasing the innovative work happening at the tier-one research institution.

researchers prepare to dive to coral beds near Palau
Texas A&M oceanographer Katie Shamberger (at left) and other researchers prepare to dive to coral beds near Palau. (Photo: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)

“24 Hours of Global Impact” is an immersive VR experience featuring on-site interviews with Texas A&M researchers and former students doing impactful work globally. The attraction will be located both at the “Texas A&M House” at Hotel Van Zandt and at the Texas A&M Exhibit Booth at the Austin Convention Center.

“The 500,000-member Aggie network – including current students, faculty and former students – is strong, with amazing examples of research and impact the world over,” said Amy B. Smith, senior vice president, chief marketing and communications officer for Texas A&M. “When one of us succeeds, we all succeed. The 360 virtual reality series puts viewers in the middle of that person’s work in a compelling way that is easy to access and navigate. We hope that Aggies will celebrate fellow Aggies when they view these and those who may be unfamiliar with Texas A&M will enjoy and want to learn more about us.”

SXSW is historically known for bringing together global professionals, brands and cutting-edge vendors from a diverse group of industries, and Texas A&M is one of just a handful of universities showcasing at Interactive Week.

The experience will also feature an innovative VR campus tour from concept3D called Xplorer; Texas A&M is the first university in the nation to use this immersive campus tour technology.

Viewers can experience these VR attractions on site, and the first 500 attendees each day will receive Google cardboards.

Anyone may view a playlist of 360 videos here on desktop or mobile devices. Move your mouse or mobile device to change your point of view at any time throughout the video. Enjoy!

For more on Texas A&M’s SXSW activities, visit

For more on SXSW, visit

About Texas A&M University: Texas A&M, established in 1876 as the first public university in Texas, is one of the nation’s largest universities with more than 66,000 students and more than 440,000 living alumni residing in over 150 countries around the world. A tier-one university, Texas A&M holds the rare triple land-, sea- and space-grant designation. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. The school’s Lead by Example campaign is a comprehensive effort to raise $4 billion by the year 2020, making it the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and a strong desire to serve.

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