VR in Education

What is Virtual Reality

Virtual reality utilizes computer technology to create simulation environments. Using VR it is possible to experience various scenarios. VR technology convince human brain, it is somewhere else. it takes human to a different environment. 

To experience VR, user need to wear Head Mounted Device (HMD). Hand controllers and sensors such as gyroscope, magnetometer, accelerometer and other tracking technologies are used for human interaction with virtual environment.

Virtual reality provides immersive experience to its users by simulating various human senses such as Vision, touch hearing and motion. Using VR, you can experience swimming, riding roller coaster, visit newly constructed house or factory without leaving your comfort zone.

Key Characteristics of Virtual Reality (VR)

Following are the key characteristics of VR systems. These characteristics are required to achieve good VR performance. 

Virtual Word

It is the computer generated 3-Dimensional environment. It looks similar to actual environment. This virtual environment is responsive in nature. In this virtual world rule of real word are applied. VR experience depends on similarity in virtual and real world. 

Immersive

VR gives an experience of being physically present in virtual environment. To achieve this VR need to
interact with body and mind.

Interactive

To make VR realistic, virtual word should be interactive. If virtual environment responds to user action naturally, sense of immersive will be high.

Feedback

Haptic feedback is key factor in evaluating VR performance. Virtual Reality systems respond to user
action. For example when a user is plays a game in VR, system gives feedback to user.

Key Devices for Virtual Reality System

Following are the key devices required to experience virtual reality.

Head Mounted Display (HMD)
HTC Vive (Head Mounted Display)

It consist of display mounted in front of user eyes. It consist of display unit. Some HMD VR device utilize smartphone screen for display.

It also consists of earphone for audio simulation. Sometimes smartphone vibrations are utilized to provide heptic feedback.

Some of popular virtual reality head mounted display includes:

Computing Device (Commuter / Smart Phone)
Playstation

To run virtual content in 3D environments high computing power is required. This requirement is fulfilled using personal computers, play stations, workstations or smart phone. 

Input / Output Devices

Input devices are required for users interaction with virtual environment. Whereas output devices convince users. They are in real environment. Some of virtual reality input devices include:

  • Joysticks
  • Force Balls/Tracking Balls
  • Data Gloves
  • Trackpads
  • On-Device Control Buttons
  • Motion Trackers/Bodysuits
  • Motion Platforms (Virtuix Omni)

Types of Virtual Reality

Based on type of experience virtual reality offers, it is classifies in three types:

Fully immersive

To experience fully  immersive VR, users require Head Mounted Display (HMD), Motion detection sensors and feedback devices. Fully immersive VR provides realistic user experience. It gives complete perception of living in another world.

Best example of this can be matrix world. Existing technologies are not that much advanced. But they are getting improved day by day. HTC vive Pro is professional grade VR handset. It gives fully immersive experience of Virtual Reality.

Non Immersive Virtual Reality

These systems will not give users fully immersive experience. In this only a subset of user sense is simulated. Their senses are affected by outside word.

3D cad tools are the example of non-immersive virtual reality. In 3D cad tools, engineer can visualize a product from various aspects. Therefore engineers are visualizing the virtual products but they are not immersed in it.

Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality

Semi-immersive virtual reality lies in between fully immersive and non-immersive virtual reality. In this users are partially immersed in the system.

For example, in car driving simulator, driver sits in a cabin and road pictures with obstacles come up in 2D screen. In  this cases, driver is fully aware of what is happening around him.

Applications of Virtual Reality

It has applications in various fields from education, scientific research, industrial design and sports to entertainment. Some of applications are give below:

Education Sector

VR is changing the way students learn. They can use VR tools to understand difficult concepts.

With the advancement of VR technology following professionals can get training in fully immersed VR simulators. Using VR they get real life experience in virtual world.

  • Fighter Pilots
  • Car Drivers
  • Surgeons
  • Sports persons
  • Engineers
Entertainment

360 degree view and 3D movies are becoming more affordable with the advancement of VR technology. VR has revolutionized the entertainment industry. Users experience for watching movies is going to next level. 

It is also changing the way we experience things. For example Using VR technology, we can experience roller coaster ride without being physically present.

Product and Industrial Design

Experiencing a product without actually building it, brings your product design to next level. Virtual reality helps designers in visualizing products in a better way. This aids them in designing better products. 

Product and architecture designers are using virtual reality to showcase their products before actully building them. In this way they can get customer feedback and improve products accordingly.

Sports and Games

Sports persons are getting trained in virtual environment. This helps them to experience different situations. As a result sports person performance improves to next level. 

Virtual Reality has revolutionized the gaming industry. Almost all companies are releasing their games with VR experience. This has improved gaming experience.

Scientific Research

In old days, to analyze micro level structure scientists used microscopes, but with the evolution of virtual reality and high quality camera, researchers can get complete picture in front of their eyes. This helps them to analyse things effectively.

Summary

To sum up, virtual reality creates a virtual environment presented to our senses in such a way that we experience it as if we were really there. This technology is becoming cheaper and more widespread. It is changing the way we communicate and work.

we suggest you to read article on Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality.

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