Virtual Reality is one if the hottest technology trends of 2018. Although gaming is probably the most popular commercial application of VR at the moment, VR has found fast and deep adoption in the fields of aviation and flight training, healthcare education, law enforcement and military training, and training tomorrow’s engineers.
Actually, to say VR is trending in education might be giving the technology too little credit. It is now entering the mass-adoption phase, where the terms “transformation” and even “disruption” describe its impact more accurately.
With online education and e-learning already moving into the mainstream, it seems logical that VR would be the next step in education advancement. And so it is.
Why VR in Education?
Industry experts forecast that the VR education market will will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 59% for the period of 2018 through 2022. Such market gain would be envious in any industry.
The reasons VR technology is being so well embraced by the educators and trainers are easy to see. Virtual training allows students to experience richer and more engaging learning experiences than can be provided through books, websites, or even videos. VR immerses the user in a 3D interactive experience that allows interactive learning in a controlled and safe environment, and does so at a fraction of the cost of real-life training. VR-based training can give soldiers the experience they need to operate anti-tank weapons without having to actually blow tanks up. It also saves in terms of human lives. Mistakes made in surgical training using VR simulations harm no one.
Application of Virtual Reality in Education
We touched upon a few examples of how virtual reality can be used to better facilitate education and training, now let us take a closer look and see some other applications for this exciting and powerful technology.
An American company, Flame Systems, is tapping the power of VR to make training firefighters safer and, in the long run, more cost effective. The VR simulator plunges students into a blazing kitchen, on scene at a propane tank leak, and at the sight of an aircraft fire. The computer-driven simulation even includes a mock firehose that exerts recoil pressure similar to the real thing.
When you think of VR training you might not think of training drivers, but thank goodness someone did.
VR Motion provides VR-based training simulators designed to give drivers experience before they ever hit the road. The company began with a truck driving simulator, and now offers VR simulators that train commercial truck drivers and equipment operators, law enforcement officers, and teen drivers.
Grade School Education
VR is poised to transform how grade school students learn about the world they live in. Schools in the state of Utah are using the digital teaching tool Nearpod to educate students in an immersive environment. Rather than reading about WWI, the VR educational tool puts them smack in the middle of a WWI trench, lets them pilot a WWI plane, and gives them a virtual tour of the White House.
It is inevitable that the virtual classroom will be the classroom of tomorrow, possibly disrupting the academic book industry.
Companies across a wide range of industries are utilizing the power of VR to train employees more effectively and in more cost-effective ways than were previously possible. Better retention, lower cost, risk-reduction, and time savings are all factors the corporate world considers when making business decisions. Increasingly, corporate trainers realize that VR-based training makes good business sense.
VR Education Software and Hardware
The most successful educational experiences are ones that capture the attention of those being taught. By engaging with students on a visceral level, VR motivates them to learn, and improves content understanding and retention.
Thanks to a host of VR gear and software, educators and training institutions around the world can provide their students the benefits of virtual ed.
There are several VR headsets currently on the market, and even more coming on board as the technology matures and prices drop. Some headsets such as Oculus Rift integrate smartphones as their VR screens, while others such as the HTC Vive have their own embedded screen and are powered by a PC.
Google Cardboard is a low-cost/no-cost example that also uses a smartphone as a screen, and, as its name implies, is actually made of cardboard. Designed specifically for school applications, it is featured for Google Expeditions, which presents teacher-led field trips to various locations.
Alchemy VR is a software package that originally marketed itself as the world’s first virtual communications coach, purporting to boost employee presentation and engagement skills. The company has evolved into a provider of rich VR content that combines technical innovations with creative storytelling.
Full Sail University, Florida, is using VR not to educate students, but to provide a virtual campus environment where online students can feel more a part of the class. Virtual classrooms enable distance-learning students to enjoy the social aspects of college without having to attend campus. Tools enable students to collaborate and interact in ways that blur the lines between on-campus and online experiences.
How AppReal-VR Can Help
Successful educational VR products don’t just happen. They are the result of developing on the bleeding edge of VR technology, where true innovation happens.
That’s where we come in.
AppReal-VR is a software company that specializes in virtual reality development and augmented reality development. Our team includes experienced specialists in the fields of precision 3D modeling and photorealistic design, gyro and accelerometer integration (for motion processing and interpretation), image processing and speech recognition – the core competencies that will drive custom VR solutions for education, training, and industry.
We are leading developers of AR and VR solutions that are innovative, scalable, and marketable. Why not contact us today for a no-cost consultation?