Jake Green, B.S. ME ’15, believes in the power of opening portals to the past with virtual reality. With his company, CGO Studios, based in Beverly Hills, California, he is showing users impactful moments in history to inspire a new generation of game changers that could have a great impact on the world.
“VR is a very powerful and emotional tool,” Green said. “It can show viewers these great moments — that people achieved this. They were just average people, but they did something that changed the world, and anyone could be that person.”
Using information from experts, including available photos, videos and diary entries, his company recreates historical scenes as accurately as possible. CGO Studios’ first project, the Wright Brothers’ first flight, has appeared at Comic-Con, E3, SIGGRAPH and the Toronto International Film Festival. Now they are working on Anne Frank’s attic and the first ascent of Mount Everest.
As a mechanical engineering student minoring cinematic arts and astronomy at USC, Green worked on several VR projects before starting one of the first VR student clubs in the nation, VRSC, which currently has 180 members.
He describes VRSC as a hub of resources helping students learn about all aspects of VR, from information sessions to project support to industry connections. In the three years since its founding, it has expanded beyond USC into an intercollegiate network for schools nationwide to work together.
“I think now is a great time to get into this space,” Green said. “Even though it’s been around for a few years, it’s still developing, it’s still new, and we’re the first generation. With this industry, we have the opportunity to help shape the way the future generations interpret and interact with our reality, and that’s something you really can’t do with anything else.”