Chances are, you’ve seen a person with a Virtual Reality display mounted to their head recently. The Virtual Reality(VR), Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality is presenting a shift in how people can interact with their tech. VR also presents a new way for students to participate actively in a learning experience. In addition, huge companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Sony are investing millions in the pursuit of VR experiences.
VR has the potential to be a fully immersive learning experience, while augmented reality could be implemented during the lesson and used to fit each students needs. Even huge consumer brands like IKEA are using augmented reality to let you place their furniture in your home. You can look through your viewfinder of your tablet at your living room, and select and size the piece of furniture to picture it in reality. The consumer potential is just as big as the educational possibilities for VR/AR/MR implementation.
VR to use:
Google has recently launched Expeditions which promises you to “Imagine exploring coral reefs or the surface of Mars in an afternoon. With Expeditions, teachers can take students on immersive, virtual journeys.”. It is a 360 degree VR that offers educational experiences such as trip to Museums, Zoos and the unreachable destinations such as Mars and Ancient Greece.
The app Nearpod, delivers an AR services that provides traditional school lessons with an immersive, visual and interactive spin. With a 1 to 1 tablet program, the teach can sit in a circle with the children instead of standing at the front of class. As the lesson advances, children can answer questions, draw, and write which the teacher can track instantly.
The Microsoft HoloLens is an AR that projects holograms into a head mount that features multiple sensors, advanced optics, and a custom holographic processing unit. This device allows the users to change the world around them and see it in a new way. For Human Anatomy, the HoloLens allows you to look at muscles, skeletal structure and remove layers from a Human body. This transforms medical procedures by allowing practice without the chance of risk.
MagicLeap has partnered with Disney’s Luca Films to develop a VR head mount that superimposes 3D Images over real world surroundings, projecting a light field into the user’s eyes. This product is not available yet, but it could be the future of films, communication and learning. The company is now valued at 4.5 Billion USD, with no products released to the public- keep your eye on this company!
For many VR/AR products, the applications are endless. What we perceive as futuristic is accessible and improving every day.