Born in Portugal, Rafael Brochado has worked and lived in several countries. But the journeys he wants to go on now are all in his head.

After several years of working on apps for games such as “Tetris,” “Pac-Man,” “Snoopy Bubble,” and “Game of Thrones,” Rafael Brochado realized that what really captured his imagination was the power and potential of augmented and virtual reality.

“I truly believe AR and VR have the potential to change most aspects of our daily lives in the next 10 to 20 years, as the hardware becomes cheaper and more accessible,” Rafael said.

Hoping to be part of that future and having already worked in Portugal, Finland and the Netherlands, Rafael realized that the most thrilling and innovative work was being done in the United States. He wanted to explore all that new territory – the nation he had never visited and the virtual worlds he hoped to create.

“To me that’s exciting, because it means there’s still plenty of room for creative freedom,” Rafael said of the fast-changing field. “It’s the perfect time to experiment and try things that have never been tried before.”

“With space being one of the few subjects I enjoy more than games, the prospects of being right at the heart of both industries felt like an incredible opportunity I simply could not let go.”

Rafael Brochado

After winning a prestigious Fulbright scholarship that provides support for his travel and approval to live and study in the U.S., he first focused on California, hoping to enroll in a college near Silicon Valley. But the more he researched interactive programs, the more impressed he became with FIEA. It seemed to have everything he wanted. And more.

“I learned that FIEA was a one-hour drive away from Cape Canaveral,” he said. “With space being one of the few subjects I enjoy more than games, the prospects of being right at the heart of both industries felt like an incredible opportunity I simply could not let go.”

Indeed, it was experiencing a VR version of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon produced by Immersive VR Education that marked one of the crucial milestones in Rafael’s intellectual journey. “I’ve always wondered what it must’ve been like to live through those moments in 1969, and this first-gen VR experience has already managed to bring me closer to it than any other medium before it.”

With an arts and game design background, Rafael wants to round out his skills on the production track so one day he can oversee the creation and direction of groundbreaking projects. He also is intrigued by programs that create holographic images. Rafael can envision recording and preserving the lessons of great teachers, so that students anywhere can feel as if they are listening and learning from that stimulating person. The curious could then expand their minds, no matter where they lived.

Rafael see FIEA as another stop on his own journey to expand his horizons. “I see it as an opportunity to be thrown out of my comfort zone and expose myself to a new culture on a continent I’ve never been to before while at the same time exploring the frontiers of a new emergent and exciting field of study.”

The traveler imagines new frontiers lying ahead. “Despite the tremendous progress that has been happening in the field in recent years, the technology is still kind of uncharted territory.”

By | 2017-09-25T17:43:14+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Student Stories|0 Comments