Transforming education and training with spatial computing

As part of our commitment to education and training, we collaborated with the Smithsonian Institution to bring their renowned Cosmic Buddha to spatial computing. This proof-of-concept app allows multiple students and teachers to view a 3D model of a historical object from anywhere in the world and in real-time.

The Smithsonian is one of the world’s most important cultural institutions and the “home” of more than 155 million museum objects. It aims to facilitate greater creativity, learning, insight, and innovation by delivering its resources to people in places and on platforms of their choosing, so spatial computing was a natural fit for the project.

Educate from anywhere and preserve history

The app was named after an ancient artifact called The Cosmic Buddha, a life-size sculpture covered in intricate carvings, thought to have been made in northern China between 550 and 600 A.D. Harnessing the power of spatial computing and the latest cinema techniques, we worked with the curator Keith Wilson from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and with the Digitization Program Office, which partners with others to increase the quantity, quality, and impact of digitized Smithsonian collections, to bring the Cosmic Buddha to life, creating a single 3D rendering of the artifact in photorealistic form. This true-to-life replica could then be exhibited in a joint-viewing area and examined remotely by anyone, from anywhere.


In practice, this means a museum curator can present a digital twin of an artifact to multiple students in different locations at the same time. They can point to, highlight, and enlarge elements, and illuminate specific areas for discussion. Students can walk around the artifact, examine it up-close, ask questions and share opinions, just as if they were together in a traditional classroom setting.


3D visualization lets students, teachers and the wider public get closer than ever before to objects of historical importance. When objects are freed from glass cabinets, and brought to life in the room, people can better understand their cultural significance.

With one 3D render, the Cosmic Buddha app can educate and inspire an infinite number of students. Across cities, countries and continents.

Bringing 3D visualization and training to enterprise

Whilst the app is groundbreaking for museums, schools, colleges and cultural institutions, it also opens up a world of exciting new learning and training opportunities that extend to manufacturing, AEC, automotive, entertainment, healthcare, retail and beyond. In fact, the potential of using 3D graphically rendered content to communicate and illustrate objects for the purpose of education is limitless.


Say you’re launching a new product and you need to get your sales reps up to speed. Or you’re introducing a new piece of machinery and you need to show your engineers how to use it. With one 3D render, you can run a training session from anywhere in the world and educate your workforce in a way that is both interactive and innovative.

Reinventing education for the next generation

Spatial computing is proven to increase student and employee engagement, concentration, learning and productivity. In fact, recent studies have found that 88% of students prefer extended reality training programmes to traditional forms of learning. And with a 50% increase in task performance, speed, and concentration, matched with a 93% reduction in cost, the case for spatial computing in learning and development is compelling.

We’re now working with world-class institutions and educational bodies to incorporate spatial computing into education curriculums across higher education, K-12, and at the local state level, including Carnegie Mellon, one of the first higher education institutions to launch its spatial computing journey using Magic Leap 1, and the University of Miami, who we’ve partnered with to create the first spatially connected campus in the world.

Bringing learning to life

Magic Leap believes in the potential of digital technologies to transform how we discover and engage with content. Earlier this year, we collaborated with the creators of Katana to bring to life a library of work instructions for 400 of the most common pieces of equipment found on construction sites. With one hands-free app, workers can move through workflows and report progress and issues, without taking their eyes off the job.

By having instant access to relevant information, more can be done with fewer resources – increasing safety, efficiency, reducing rework and giving workers greater control.

The future of education and training

Sector by sector, we’re reinventing the world of enterprise, giving businesses the tools they need to support and train their people, wherever they are. And as we move towards 2020, we have our sights set on creating new solutions that lead to greater efficiency and productivity.

By collaborating with organisations like the Smithsonian on Cosmic Buddha, we’re pushing the limits of what’s possible—freeing learning and knowledge from the confines of books and the traditional classroom environment to be discovered in the world around you.

Learn more about our work with educational and cultural institutions, and find out how spatial computing can revolutionize learning and education in your industry.

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