You might be wondering why I often post about Virtual Reality. There are several reasons.
- I have actually worked in the VR field.
- The technology is finally ready to make it a practical, low cost experience
- I believe the most effective way to learn is one in which many senses are involved as a whole experience. This is a way to get out of the classroom, virtually speaking.
In order to create an effective VR experience you need to overcome several technical challenge.
- The human eye can see at about 8k pixels. This is about 16 times higher than HD. When you see an image like this, you can no longer notice any pixels.
- You need the tracking update rate to be at least 60 frames per second. Any slower and you will begin to perceive a lag between moving your head and the screen updating. This can cause motion sickness.
- The eye can see nearly 180 degrees in horizontal field of view. To make an immersive VR experience you need to get as close to this as you can. If not, you feel like you are looking through a window, or small opening into the world.
The first two of these are being addressed by various companies with better screens and with optical tracking systems. The third though wasn’t really being worked on to my knowledge. Well, it looks like now it is.
A new company on Kickstarted called Wearality has created some cool lenses to fit over a smartphone screen. Supposedly it can do about 150 degrees fov. If that is true, that is fantastic. Right now they want to put it on smartphones but I can see this being adapted rapidly for full VR headsets.
Incidentally I knew one of the guys who are working on this. He’s really smart.
Let’s hope this works out and we can finally get the VR show on the road (and into the classroom)!
If you want to read more about why I think Simulation is going to be huge in education read this.