Virtual Reality Technology and its Tentacles of Applications
Virtual reality is a multifaceted technology in terms of the applications and education is one of such areas in which it is now being used. Big names in the industry like Samsung, HTC, Google and Facebook have all made pretty big strides with this piece of technology and they aren’t relenting.
Originally, virtual reality was developed to immerse the user completely in film before it was then adapted for use with flight simulators many years ago. It was in 1960 that the first head mounted virtual reality display was created which is now what we know today as the virtual reality headsets. The technology was still primitive back then though as it was only designed to immerse the user in the content but no interaction was possible. The concept of immersion and interaction only started to actualize back in the 1990s when game developers started to apply this technology to games where interactivity is paramount. Recently, we have now started seeing this technology with its full immersion and interactivity attributes being applied to education.
The beauty of the virtual reality technology is that it allows designers and developers to create worlds that are not actually in existence. These worlds are built in as much detail as the creativity and imagination of the developer allows it. This has been particularly useful in the architecture industry where architects can now use VR to navigate through spaces and buildings to show the clients what they can expect from their designs and effectively walk them through their idea and proposal. Some companies have gone as far as using architectural plans to create fully immersive and interactive visualizations where clients can use VR headsets to navigate the designs and see exactly what is of interest.
Virtual reality has also found its application in art. The HTC Vive for instance has the Tiltbrush which allows you to “paint in 3D virtual reality” and they say that “Your room is your canvas. Your pallete is your imagination. The possibilities are endless.” This might all sound a bit far-fetched but it is all very possible and indeed available.
Virtual reality has also been used in the area of field trips and travel. Without actually leaving your house or geographical location you can now get too see the world in its glory with your virtual reality headsets and corresponding content. The graphical representations of landscape in virtual reality is now very detailed and it has even been used widely as a means to engage students in field trips.
So if you haven’t ever been to a place or you just want to relive the experience you had when you visited that place you can now do so with the help of virtual reality. Now you get to go all the places you otherwise couldn’t go to and you get to see the sights and sounds.
Virtual reality is not without its challenges and developers around the world are working tirelessly to improve on their designs, their software and their kits and with constant improvements we will have on our hands an exceptional tool with a load of possibilities and hopefully easily accessible to all.