K-State Salina, Pure Imagination Studios announce historic partnership to build modern spatial computing studio and learning center
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023
K-State Salina, the Salina Airport Authority and the state of Kansas are partnering with Pure Imagination Studios to build a one-of-a-kind spatial computing studio and learning center. From left: Mitch Robinson, Salina Community Economic Development Organization; Alysia Starkey, Kansas State University Salina; Jerry Moran, U.S. Sen., Kansas; Joshua Wexler, Pure Imagination Studios; Tim Rogers, Salina Airport Authority; Lt. Gov. David Toland, Kansas; and Tim Zimmerman, Kansas Department of Commerce. | Download this photo.
SALINA — Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus, in partnership with Pure Imagination Studios, the Salina Airport Authority and the state of Kansas, will establish a $41 million, one-of-a-kind spatial computing studio and learning center.
As announced by the Kansas Department of Commerce and Pure Imagination Studios, the Kansas Advanced Immersive Research for Emerging Systems, or K-AIRES, will house the headquarters for Pure Imagination Labs on the K-State Salina campus.
The $41 million project is the most significant investment in the campus's infrastructure to date. This project will add a new three-story, approximately 55,000-square-foot facility that will bring with it more than 100 new jobs to the Salina area and propel the community to the forefront of the spatial computing industry.
The studio and learning center at K-State Salina will feature state-of-the-art equipment and immersive technology that will enable the studio to transform the education experience and establish new frontiers. The new facility will allow faculty and researchers to leverage immersive environments to reimagine what 21st-century education should be: the hands-on application of embedded industry projects with collaborative, multidisciplinary problem solving driving the learning experience.
"K-AIRES brings world-leading simulation and artificial intelligence capabilities to the major industry sectors of Kansas, with a heightened focus on aerospace, advanced manufacturing and defense," said Alysia Starkey, K-State CEO and dean. "Once complete, this facility will provide exciting and engaging ways to educate and train students in the enabling technologies of the future. We also expect large-scale research grants, sponsored research projects and targeted industry partnerships to support the growth of local and state workforce and economic development."
Spatial computing is an overarching term encompassing digital encounters that relate to objects and positions within the physical world. This incorporates augmented reality, mixed reality and virtual reality simulations of real-world places.
"This transformative technology is set to revolutionize every facet of the industry, from education and storytelling to public safety," said Joshua Wexler, co-founder of Pure Imagination Studios. "The choice to anchor the studio at K-State Salina stems from the institution's thriving ecosystem and the state's resolute commitment to challenging the status quo. This partnership stands as an investment in the local community and economy with the potential to propel Kansas to the forefront of the spatial computing industry."
Pure Imagination Studios is an award-winning independent entertainment studio best known for combining proprietary technology with groundbreaking storytelling. They develop original content and work with some of Hollywood's most recognized entertainment studios, including DreamWorks, FOX, The LEGO Group, Netflix, Marvel Entertainment and Warner Bros.
"We are establishing the world's first-of-its-kind spatial computing studio and training facility," said Wexler. "It is an innovation hub at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution ... Together, we aspire to reshape the narrative of human progress, leaving an indelible legacy of positive change."
The new facility is planned to break ground in late fall 2023.