From treadmill desks to 360 cameras, 5 of the coolest tech features at MRU's new library

It's a stunning example of how technology is revolutionizing how we learn and share our knowledge.

After three years of construction and a decade of planning, Mount Royal University's $100.4-million library is ready to throw its doors open for its grand opening Thursday.

We took a peek inside the shiny Riddell Library and Learning Centre to pick out some of the coolest features you'll find inside.

And the best part is, you don't even have to be a student at Mount Royal University to take advantage of them.

1. Treadmill desks

Some researchers say sitting is the new smoking, but now you can hop on a treadmill desk to keep your blood flowing as your brain chugs away.

You'll find these treadmill desks next to height-adjustable standing desks in a study area dedicated to physical health and wellness.

It's first come, first served right now, but that could change if the treadmill desks continue to grow in popularity, said university librarian Carol Shepstone.

2. Maker studio

Here you can 3D-print a prototype you've designed, build a circuitry board or try your hand with an industrial or embroidery sewing machine.

Meant to provide students with a hands-on experience, the maker studio is equipped with drawing tablets, three 3D printers, robotics kits, design software, sewing machines and circuitry models.

"It doesn't matter what your base knowledge is. Everyone is welcome to use this space," said Sandra Sarmiento, technology facilitator.

3. Visualization wall

The library boasts two massive walls of screens, as big as two metres by seven metres.

Each wall is made up of touch-sensitive panels that can connect to up to eight different devices, making them ideal for large-scale, interactive multimedia presentations, in person or via video-conference.

4. 360 immersion studio

Located on the third floor of the library, this room has 10 short-throw projectors that create 360-degree projection on the room's walls.

The space is meant to facilitate fully immersive photo and video viewing and virtual reality experiences, said Anna Nuhn, visualization specialist.

The library also has 360 cameras that are available for check out.

5. Comfy pods

With cushy seats and ample access to outlets, these semi-private study pods make great spots for students who want to hunker down and hit the books.

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