Goodspeed said the area is designed to allow OU students, faculty and staff to play with the latest technology the university has been able to find, and be inspired by it.
The store's Google Liquid Galaxy area includes a large computer display that allows the user to use Google Earth software to look at areas all around the world and elsewhere. Users can look at sites as close as the Denver Art Museum and as far away as landing sites on Mars.
Goodspeed said he hopes to see students come into the center to look at the equipment that's available and figure out how their areas of study might make use of them. For example, he said, a student in the architecture program might use the center's 3-D printers to make a model of a building they'd designed for a class project.
The center also focuses on promoting electronic textbooks that students can use on e-readers like iPads, he said.
OU faculty members have already begun using electronic textbooks in the hopes of saving students several hundred dollars of books per semester. Last year, OU sociology professor Kelly Damphousse began using a free electronic textbook developed at Rice University. Damphousse said the book covered the same material as the book he'd been using, at a fraction of the cost.