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Pre-order Enterprise-Ready Pico Neo 3 Starting from $699

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Excitement might be building for HTC Vive’s upcoming headset announcements tomorrow but before then Pico Interactive has just officially announced its new headsets for the western market, the Neo 3 Pro and Neo 3 Pro Eye. Both designed for business customers, they’re now available for pre-ordering with a launch taking place later in 2021.

Pico Neo 3 Pro Eye
Pico Neo 3 Pro Eye. Image credit: Pico Interactive

While the standard Pico Neo 3 is a consumer-only headset exclusively available in China, the Neo 3 Pro and Neo 3 Pro Eye are very much enterprise solutions. They both feature 6 degrees of tracking (6DoF) and have the Snapdragon XR2 platform under the hood with 256GB of internal storage. There’s a single 5.5″ display with 3664×1920 resolution (boasting 773PPI) and a 90Hz refresh rate. Due to the assumption they’ll be used by multiple people in an office both headsets also have a replaceable PU face cushion that’s hygienic and easily washable.

As the Pico Neo 3 line now features four cameras the tracking and guardian system have been improved so they’re more robust for commercial use cases. In turn, the controllers have received a major overhaul to make use of the 6DoF tracking. Just like the Neo 2, the Neo 3 products retain the rear-mounted battery to help counterbalance the headset. It’s a 5300mAh battery which should be good for 3-3.5 hours of use.

Of course, the Pico Neo 3 Eye also has built-in Tobii eye-tracking which is ideal for companies looking to bolster analytics. That can be for understanding customer behaviour, enhancing training efficiency, or improving productivity for example.

Pico Neo 3 Pro Back
Pico Neo 3 Pro. Image credit: Pico Interactive

The Pico Neo 3 Pro and Neo 3 Eye are standalone devices but they do support NVIDIA’s Direct Mode via DisplayPort and come supplied DisplayPort connectors and cables. Using this mode the headsets are able to provide native 4K at 90Hz using Pico VR Streaming. Additionally, they support NVIDIA CloudXR to stream VR wirelessly across 5G and WiFi networks.

“Business needs are constantly evolving due to the changing landscape all industries are finding themselves in due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Henry Zhou, CEO of Pico Interactive in a statement. “For the Neo 3 line, we implemented the latest technologies to meet the ever-changing demands of the enterprise. For instance, as hybrid and remote work continues, more companies are seeking remote collaboration solutions, like Pico Interactive’s VR headsets with tools and applications available through our software partners, to allow employees to increase productivity and sales to boost revenue. From training firefighters to decreasing the impact of social isolation on seniors to measuring brain health, Pico’s headsets are now being used in a wide range of industries.

The Pico Neo 3 Pro and Neo 3 Eye are available for enterprise customers to pre-order now, retailing for $699 USD and $899 respectively. Both will then be made available in Q3 2021. For further updates from Pico Interactive, keep reading VRFocus.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/05/pre-order-enterprise-ready-pico-neo-3-starting-from-699/

AR/VR

Hands-on: ‘I Expect You to Die 2’ Demo Brings Another Deadly Dose of Seated Adventure

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I Expect You to Die 2: The Spy and The Liar is upcoming sequel to the breakout VR spy-themed adventure game. We went hands-on with the game’s new demo, which again puts you in hot seat for another round of Bond-flavored puzzling. In short: it’s definitely something to watch out for when it launches later this year.

Note: There’s more than a few spoilers below to the 10-minute experience. If you want to play the demo yourself, you can grab it starting today on Steam as a part of the Steam Next Fest. Simply head to the Steam page and click ‘Download Demo’.

There’s around 20 other VR games on offer. Check out our comprehensive list and peruse it for yourself!

I Expect You to Die (2017) has been a juggernaut these last four years, as it famously hits the mark for fun, intuitive gameplay and tells a pretty enthralling story too—one escape room at a time, that is. As I slipped back into the familiar rhythm of figuring out the sequel’s obscure mechanisms, following hastily scribbled instructions, and messing around with everything in sight (both physically and telekinetically), a distinct thought ran through my mind: I Expect You to Die still works, and it’s awesome fun.

The demo puts you through a quick tutorial, which reintroduces you to the telekinesis mechanic found in the later missions of the original. Having correctly hunted and disposed of a few bombs whilst in the comparative safety of the Home Office, you’re then booted out to the game’s singular (and partial) mission.

Image courtesy Schell Games

You have to stop Zoraxis again, and for your first taste of danger you’re smuggled into the theater to act as a stage hand, and (presumably) to stop whatever dastardly plan he has for you and the crowd below. As I learn the ropes of my temporary new gig, I’m presented with a few tantalizing easter eggs along the way, like putting on all of the costume pieces found around the level, or unlocking a box with a code found on a paper in the drawer.

Those are the sort of detours you take as you try to figure out what the hell is going on, and critically not die in novel ways in the process. As far as I could tell, there’s only one real way to perish in the short demo, but at least it graciously tosses you back to the beginning so you can attack it again, this time with the knowledge of what you did wrong.

Check out my full hands-on with the demo below. If you scroll back the video, you can also see the tutorial and intro theme. Some of the audio in my recording is slightly borked, but that’s just how it captured for some reason. Stick to the end of the hands-on, and you’ll get a brief chance to hear itinerant nerd Wil Wheaton (Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory).

My hands-on video above shows a ‘perfect’ run. I had to die at least two times to figure out what everything was though, and that involved disobeying my ever-present stage director in my ear, or blowing my cover by other means. You’ll see a lot of stuff to play around with; not denigrate the game’s complex and time-sensitive puzzles, that’s half the fun of playing. You’re expected to paw through absolutely everything, and the fun gubbins pop their heads up to punctuate what might otherwise be sober and straight-laced problem solving.

On that perfect run, the demo seems way too short, but you really can spend about double the time messing with the things in the pre-mission van (there’s a mini-fridge!) and screwing up in fun and interesting ways.

– – — – –

Developers Schell Games are slated to reveal more missions in August 2021, which may be just in time for Gamescom 2021 in Cologne, Germany. Gamescom 2021 represents one of the first large-format games conferences since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all in-person events in early 2020, so it’s possible we may get a glimpse of something new there. We’ll have at least one pair of vaccinated feet on the ground in Cologne for the event, so make sure to follow us for more.

I Expect You to Die 2 is headed to all major VR headsets at some point this summer, which includes Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, SteamVR headsets and PSVR. Check out the game’s trailer here.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/i-expect-you-to-die-2-demo/

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The New Age of Learning Science with Virtual Reality: A Literature Review

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Anna Lynch

Virtual reality is not a new, hot-off-the-press concept. In fact, computational photography researcher, Steve Mann, invented “wearable computing” in 1980 (Interaction Design Foundation, 2019). The term “virtual reality” was first used in 1987 by Jaron Lanier, who was researching goggles that could display digital creations (Lowood, 2018). Virtual reality is described as a “three-dimensional, computer-generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.” (“What is Virtual Reality?”, n.d.). Virtual reality has been a known concept for the past 32 years. However, technological advancement has generated new opportunities to apply virtual reality to more than just video games.

For the past 20 years, researchers have been exploring the possibilities offered by implementing virtual reality into educational settings. This research is crucial to the field of education and the design of virtual reality. The research thus far creates a foundation for the most effective use of virtual reality as an educational tool.

While current research observes engagement with virtual reality at all levels of education, including job training, this literature review will examine how students, from kindergarten to college-age, engage with and learn scientific topics when virtual reality is implemented in a learning environment. Furthermore, this literature review will investigate the design factors that make virtual reality successful, topics that can be successfully implemented in virtual reality, the implications of using virtual reality, and the significance of experience-based learning with virtual environments. Research in virtual learning is crucial to the field of education, as it could create new and more effective systems of learning. While technology is constantly changing in the digital world, it is crucial to investigate how advancement in technology can impact learning.

DESIGN FEATURES OF A SUCCESSFUL VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Virtual reality can be utilized to create positive experiences for students, which leads to higher motivation and willingness to participate in learning. A 2006 study found that the use of educational games in different learning models and mixed realities are more likely to increase a student’s motivation to learn (Pan, Cheok, Yang, Zhu, & Shia, 2006). Students in the virtual reality experimental group also achieved higher scores compared to students who learned with traditional methods of teaching. Bogusevschi, Muntean, and Muntean (2019) repeated the finding of Pan et al. (2006) and also found that students generally find learning with virtual reality enjoyable. However, increased motivation does not necessarily mean that students will learn more effectively with virtual reality. The presence of scaffolding, interactivity, and immersion is the foundation of successful virtual environments.

SCAFFOLDING

Students perform better when they are guided along the educational course, and research has shown that this is true in both virtual and non-virtual worlds. A student should not be left alone to teach themselves the presented information within a virtual environment. Without guidance with a virtual environment, sub-optimal learning environments are created because the students may be focused on design factors instead of the educational content.

If a teacher or guiding figure is present within a virtual environment, the students will learn the information more effectively due to the elements provided by scaffolding. According to instructional designers, scaffolding provides students with feedback, direction, and shared responsibility, making students more efficient learners (“Instructional Scaffolding to Improve Learning”, n.d.). Roussou, Oliver, and Slater (2006) found that the presence of a guide in the virtual environment helps students better understand the information being taught. Scaffolding is a stronger factor when other design criteria, such as interactivity and immersiveness are met.

INTERACTIVITY

Interactivity is also an important feature of virtual learning environments. Interactivity allows students to manipulate, move, and examine a virtual object. Including interactive materials is more likely to promote efficient learning methods for students. Nicholson, Chalk, Funnell, and Daniel (2006) revealed that exposure to anatomical models of the ear with opportunities to interact with the models led to college students receiving better test scores compared to their peers who did not interact with the virtual models.

Educators should also consider how information should be presented in a virtual learning environment. There are some fields, such as astronomy, that are difficult to learn about due to the abstract nature of the information. Abstract and interactive concepts can be taught with virtual reality and students can better conceptualize the information. Chen, Yang, Shjen, and Jeng (2007) examined how desktop virtual environments provided opportunities for students to interact with and manipulate objects while learning about orbital patterns of the planets. The results indicated that virtual reality was an efficient method for teaching such abstract concepts that cannot easily be explained with traditional teaching methods. A student may become confused about the next steps if there is no guide in place to direct the flow of the course. The findings produced by Chen et al. (2007) reiterates the importance of building educational virtual environments based on prior research findings such as scaffolding (Roussou et al., 2006) and interactivity (Nicholson et al., 2006).

IMMERSIVENESS

Immersiveness creates a more realistic environment for students, which facilitates more effective learning within the virtual learning environment. Immersiveness can be described as stimuli such as sounds and visuals that give the user the perception of actually being in the environment depicted within the virtual world (“Virtual Reality Immersion”, n.d.).

If interactivity and immersion are key factors in the design of a course, students will be motivated to continue learning, and the program will be more successful in teaching the content. Huang, Rauch, and Liaw (2010) found that highly immersive courses had a large effect on student motivation and attitude, giving students a more positive attitude towards the content of the course. Sun, Lin, and Wang (2010) also investigated how highly immersive environments impacted students in a virtual astronomy course. The results indicated that students conceptualized information better in an immersive virtual environment. Like Huang et al. (2010), the result was attributed to the ability to better understand abstract information within a virtual environment. Calkan (2011) also explored the concept of abstract coursework by applying virtual reality to fieldwork in the domain of environmental studies. The fieldwork was required to be immersive, interactive, and imaginative to be a successful substitute for real fieldwork. The replicated findings of Sue et al. (2010), Huang et al. (2010), and Calkan (2011) further suggest the importance of immersiveness for effective learning in a virtual environment.

THE APPROPRIATENESS OF VIRTUAL REALITY FOR A LEARNING SITUATION

With the rise of technology comes many exciting and new possibilities. It is understandable that educators want to incorporate and apply virtual reality in educational settings. However, the novelty of virtual reality itself is not a good enough reason to apply it to education. Even the most well-designed virtual environment could potentially cause more harm than good to the quality of education the learner receives.

According to Pantelidis (2010), the following scenarios are when virtual reality should be used: when something can be better described with a demonstration when it is not safe or possible to learn a topic with demonstration when interactivity would help students better understand a topic when it would be more fun and provide better motivation to use virtual reality, when shared group experience of the class will add to the experience, or when the effects of a mistake in real-life training would be devastating or carry enormous consequences.

Pantelidis (2010) also provided a list of reasons it should not be used: when virtual training is not adequate to the real thing, when interacting with real humans is needed, when virtual environments may be damaging to the student when users could too easily confuse the virtual world with the real world, or when the expense of virtual reality is not feasible or worth the outcome. With considerations for these factors, designers should carefully decide what information would be most successfully taught in a virtual environment.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF VIRTUAL LEARNING

In 2012, the first crowdfunding campaign was started for the Oculus Rift, a popular virtual reality headset now owned by Facebook. This launched virtual reality into the mainstream media and virtual reality essentially became a reality, as many people had not been aware of its existence outside of science fiction movies until this point (Dormehl, 2017). This further opened up the conversation about using virtual reality in education, and research began to expand as more questions were asked. With more research came more information about the social, physical, and psychological implications of using virtual reality as an educational tool.

SOCIAL LEARNING SKILLS

Virtual reality is a great tool for encouraging students to work together and to positively influence learning outcomes. By using virtual reality for project creation, students can develop social skills to build social environments and create a community of knowledge that all participants can take part in. Morales, Bang, and Andre (2012) analyzed project-based learning by observing students as they created projects in virtual reality without direct instruction from a teacher. Students were observed relying on each other for assistance.

Students can benefit from learning to build communities of knowledge in situations outside of virtual learning. Rutten, Joolingen, and Veen (2012) also explored the idea and stated that “Mixed-reality technology has the potential to support student discussion interchanges and learning outcomes,” (as cited in Birchfield & Megowan-Romanowicz, 2009). Rutten et al.’s observations can be summarized by the idea that learning within a virtual environment puts students in a position where they are more in control. Students learn to use social relationships as a resource for learning, even in their future careers.

THE IMPACT OF THE HARDWARE

Virtual reality hardware can also impact student learning. Educators should consider using training programs to prepare students to use virtual reality as an educational device, as it could possibly help students learn the material more efficiently. Ray and Deb (2016) observed the effects of using Google Cardboard, a cheaper alternative to most virtual reality headsets due to its use of smartphones. The researchers found that students who were comfortable in the virtual environment performed better than those who reported discomfort using a virtual reality headset. Even if all the factors of good design are met, a student may still be unsuccessful in the course if the student is not comfortable inside of a virtual environment.

Not all students will benefit from the use of virtual environments. Accessibility should continue to be a large focus in education, and requiring the use of virtual reality would minimize accessibility to some students. Crider (2019) argued that it may not be feasible to require all students to use virtual environments. Some students are afraid to have their vision impaired and some will be uncomfortable with the headset on. Other methods of learning should be available to ensure that all students can receive an accessible education.

COGNITIVE FACTORS

By examining the psychological components of virtual reality usage, researchers can further identify factors that lead to successful virtual learning environments. Cognitive modifiability, cognitive load, and neuro-engagement are suggested to be heavily impacted by virtual reality in education.

Educators should strive to teach content in a way that is memorable. Research thus far has pointed towards virtual reality being an efficient way to do so, as information learning inside a virtual environment is more likely to be remembered by students. Passig, Tzuriel, and Eshel-Kedmi (2016) examined how virtual reality impacted the cognitive modifiability, or knowledge retention, of first and second-grade children. The researchers found higher retention rates in students who learned information in a virtual environment, indicating a better understanding of when virtual reality was used to deliver the content. This finding has been repeated by other researchers (Liou, Bhagat, & Chang, 2018). The findings of Passig et al. (2016) and Liou et al. (2018) attributed the higher retention rates to the interactivity involved in virtual reality courses, stating that higher interactivity leads to conceptualization and memory regarding the topic.

Cognitive load is also of high interest in the realm of virtual reality. Cognitive load can be described as the amount of working memory that a person can contribute to achieving a goal (Julien, 2012). If a virtual environment includes too much extra information that has to be cognitively processed, students are at risk of being distracted or unable to concentrate on the subject. Lin, Yan, Chen, and Tarng (2017) examined the relationship between cognitive load and virtual reality and found that students scored lower in virtual reality experimental groups compared to augmented reality groups. The researchers argued that the virtual reality course was not fully immersive and the students were not guided through the program with scaffolding techniques. Students were required to do too much mental work, such as guiding themselves through the course and having to stay focused on the program despite its non-immersiveness. The phrase “mental work” is being used here to describe mental effort being made outside of learning the course material.

Parong and Mayer (2018) repeated the finding of Lin et al. (2017) by testing a virtual reality course where unnecessary information was included and students were not guided along the course. The students reported finding the extra information distracting from the main content. A basic guideline to keep in mind when designing an efficient and successful virtual reality course is the following: the less work, the better.

Students are likely to be more engaged with the course material within a virtual environment. Lamb, Antonenko, Etopio, and Seccia (2018) measured the hemodynamic response of students while they used virtual reality to learn about the process of DNA replication. The hemodynamic response is related to the increase of task engagement. Results indicated that there was a greater hemodynamic response in the prefrontal cortex when users were interacting with educational material in virtual reality. This suggests that students are more engaged when learning with virtual reality. This topic has yet to be thoroughly explored but opens the discussion of the neurological impact of virtual reality. Further research on the psychological components of virtual reality will reveal information about how students engage with virtual reality.

EXPERIENCED-BASED LEARNING

In 2019, a major breakthrough product was released by Oculus. The Oculus Quest is the first stand-alone virtual reality headset, thus allowing more freedom to move around. The financial strain of virtual reality gear has also been lighted by this product because no longer requires a tether to a computer or gaming system (Rogers, 2019). Although experience-based learning has been touched on in past research, the ability to facilitate compelling experiences with more physical freedom calls for the investigation of more immersive experiences, such as virtual field trips and fieldwork, and the impact that it has on learning.

FIELD TRIPS

Some environments and concepts would be impossible to explore or research due to geographical location, safety, and financial issues. The ability to do so with virtual reality is an incredible freedom that creates opportunities for a wider range of learning. The learning experiences provided by field trips can help facilitate the understanding of complex subjects in most fields of science.

Opportunities to explore areas and concepts that are normally unattainable empowers students to explore new topics with high levels of motivation. Beas (2016) discussed how students interacted in an “Immersive Worlds” project to learn about marine biology. Beas suggested that virtual reality provides a safe and cost-effective alternative to exploring certain environments, such as the sea bed, that would be impossible to explore without virtual reality.

However, scaffolding, immersiveness, and interactivity of the virtual field trip continue to play a large role in the experience and overall performance of the students. A virtual field trip will be efficient in teaching if students are guided through a virtual trip and have the opportunity to interact with the material. Chenga and Tsaib (2019) observed how a teacher scaffolded learning during a virtual field trip. Questionnaires revealed that students had a strong sense of involvement and physical presence during the virtual trip.

The findings of Chenga and Tsaib (2019) have been repeated (Fung et al., 2019), further indicating that students can feel present and involved in a virtual environment and that virtual reality can have a positive impact on the motivation and attitudes of students.

FIELDWORK

Field trips are great learning experiences for students. Fieldwork is similar to a field trip, as they both allow students to experience a concept outside of a normal classroom environment. Fieldwork is especially crucial to the field of science because it allows students to make observations and develop hypotheses about the field.

Using virtual reality provides students with more access and opportunity to learn outside of normal classroom hours. Distance learning students and students who want to study past normal lab hours can benefit from not having time constraints to examine specimens. Cho and Clary (2019) observed how students interact with virtual rock specimens, which is an important part of learning in the field of geology. The students reported enjoying the virtual rocks and the ability to zoom in on the surfaces but did not like that they could not have physical interaction with the rocks. There was no difference in scores between the groups that observed real rocks versus the group that observed virtual rocks. This finding reiterates the fact that virtual reality is a great tool for students who may not have access to specimens, but is not the best choice in every learning situation.

Virtual reality should be used when a real learning scenario is not attainable, such as an ecosystem of an untraveled environment, but it should be used in conjunction with the design standards that research has suggested thus far. Mead et al. (2019) also investigated virtual fieldwork in the field of geology. By using immersive, interactive virtual fields, or iVFTs, the researchers examined the effects of education by exploration of an ecosystem. Results of test scores indicated that students had high information retention rates after engaging with the iVFT. This research demonstrates that virtual reality fieldwork is efficient in increasing the retention of information.

Learning with experience is an efficient way to learn an educational topic. Virtual reality allows students to learn the material with hands-on experience, even when it would not be possible in real life. Field trips, fieldwork, and experiences also create new potential for learning. Zimmermen (2019) reports that virtual reality helps students learn about the inside of the human body, allows students to learn about animals humanely, and provides students with a safe place to experiment and learn. Students can take a virtual journey into the body to learn how humans fight off viruses, dissect animals, and learn about lab safety without actually being put into an unsafe situation. With the improvement of virtual reality software, the possibilities that students can experience will continue to grow.

CONCLUSION

Technology is ever-growing. There is still much to be discovered about virtual reality and the possibilities it creates for learning. Currently, there are still many topics to be explored, such as adaptive virtual environments and further cognitive implications of virtual reality use. Since 2018, Google has partnered with a virtual lab simulator known as Labster to develop anatomy and biology courses for high schools and colleges (Zimmerman, 2019). This suggests that many more science courses will be taken in a virtual reality format in the future.

It is likely that researchers will continue to discover additional design factors that make a virtual learning environment more successful. Research fields such as psychology and human-computer interaction will continue to get involved in the research, and this will uncover more information about the use of virtual reality from different academic perspectives. Finally, the advancement of virtual reality hardware and software will lead to new ways to implement it in education. If researchers, developers, and educators continue to use already researched principles to build on successful virtual reality coursework, there will continue to be growth and positive results from teaching with virtual reality. Researchers investigating how technological advancement can impact learning will continue to uncover new and efficient ways to teach with learning tools such as virtual reality.

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Roussou, M., Oliver, M. & Slater, M. (2006). The virtual playground: an educational virtual reality environment for evaluating interactivity and conceptual. Virtual Reality, 10(3–4), 227–240. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-006-0035-5

Rutten, N., Joolingen W. R. V., Veen, J. T. (2012). The learning effects of computer simulations in science education. Computers & Education, 58(1), 136–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.07.017

Sun, K. T., Lin, C. L. & Wang, S. M. (2010). A 3-D virtual reality model of the sun and the moon for e-learning at elementary schools. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8(4), 689–710. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-009-9181-z

What is Virtual Reality? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality/what-is-virtual-reality.html

Virtual Reality Immersion. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality/immersion.html

Zimmermen, E. (2019). K–12 teachers use augmented and virtual reality platforms to teach biology. Retrieved from https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/03/k-12-teachers-use-augmented-and-virtual-reality-platforms-teach-biology-perfcon

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The New Age of Learning Science with Virtual Reality: A Literature Review

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Anna Lynch

Virtual reality is not a new, hot-off-the-press concept. In fact, computational photography researcher, Steve Mann, invented “wearable computing” in 1980 (Interaction Design Foundation, 2019). The term “virtual reality” was first used in 1987 by Jaron Lanier, who was researching goggles that could display digital creations (Lowood, 2018). Virtual reality is described as a “three-dimensional, computer-generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.” (“What is Virtual Reality?”, n.d.). Virtual reality has been a known concept for the past 32 years. However, technological advancement has generated new opportunities to apply virtual reality to more than just video games.

For the past 20 years, researchers have been exploring the possibilities offered by implementing virtual reality into educational settings. This research is crucial to the field of education and the design of virtual reality. The research thus far creates a foundation for the most effective use of virtual reality as an educational tool.

While current research observes engagement with virtual reality at all levels of education, including job training, this literature review will examine how students, from kindergarten to college-age, engage with and learn scientific topics when virtual reality is implemented in a learning environment. Furthermore, this literature review will investigate the design factors that make virtual reality successful, topics that can be successfully implemented in virtual reality, the implications of using virtual reality, and the significance of experience-based learning with virtual environments. Research in virtual learning is crucial to the field of education, as it could create new and more effective systems of learning. While technology is constantly changing in the digital world, it is crucial to investigate how advancement in technology can impact learning.

DESIGN FEATURES OF A SUCCESSFUL VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Virtual reality can be utilized to create positive experiences for students, which leads to higher motivation and willingness to participate in learning. A 2006 study found that the use of educational games in different learning models and mixed realities are more likely to increase a student’s motivation to learn (Pan, Cheok, Yang, Zhu, & Shia, 2006). Students in the virtual reality experimental group also achieved higher scores compared to students who learned with traditional methods of teaching. Bogusevschi, Muntean, and Muntean (2019) repeated the finding of Pan et al. (2006) and also found that students generally find learning with virtual reality enjoyable. However, increased motivation does not necessarily mean that students will learn more effectively with virtual reality. The presence of scaffolding, interactivity, and immersion is the foundation of successful virtual environments.

SCAFFOLDING

Students perform better when they are guided along the educational course, and research has shown that this is true in both virtual and non-virtual worlds. A student should not be left alone to teach themselves the presented information within a virtual environment. Without guidance with a virtual environment, sub-optimal learning environments are created because the students may be focused on design factors instead of the educational content.

If a teacher or guiding figure is present within a virtual environment, the students will learn the information more effectively due to the elements provided by scaffolding. According to instructional designers, scaffolding provides students with feedback, direction, and shared responsibility, making students more efficient learners (“Instructional Scaffolding to Improve Learning”, n.d.). Roussou, Oliver, and Slater (2006) found that the presence of a guide in the virtual environment helps students better understand the information being taught. Scaffolding is a stronger factor when other design criteria, such as interactivity and immersiveness are met.

INTERACTIVITY

Interactivity is also an important feature of virtual learning environments. Interactivity allows students to manipulate, move, and examine a virtual object. Including interactive materials is more likely to promote efficient learning methods for students. Nicholson, Chalk, Funnell, and Daniel (2006) revealed that exposure to anatomical models of the ear with opportunities to interact with the models led to college students receiving better test scores compared to their peers who did not interact with the virtual models.

Educators should also consider how information should be presented in a virtual learning environment. There are some fields, such as astronomy, that are difficult to learn about due to the abstract nature of the information. Abstract and interactive concepts can be taught with virtual reality and students can better conceptualize the information. Chen, Yang, Shjen, and Jeng (2007) examined how desktop virtual environments provided opportunities for students to interact with and manipulate objects while learning about orbital patterns of the planets. The results indicated that virtual reality was an efficient method for teaching such abstract concepts that cannot easily be explained with traditional teaching methods. A student may become confused about the next steps if there is no guide in place to direct the flow of the course. The findings produced by Chen et al. (2007) reiterates the importance of building educational virtual environments based on prior research findings such as scaffolding (Roussou et al., 2006) and interactivity (Nicholson et al., 2006).

IMMERSIVENESS

Immersiveness creates a more realistic environment for students, which facilitates more effective learning within the virtual learning environment. Immersiveness can be described as stimuli such as sounds and visuals that give the user the perception of actually being in the environment depicted within the virtual world (“Virtual Reality Immersion”, n.d.).

If interactivity and immersion are key factors in the design of a course, students will be motivated to continue learning, and the program will be more successful in teaching the content. Huang, Rauch, and Liaw (2010) found that highly immersive courses had a large effect on student motivation and attitude, giving students a more positive attitude towards the content of the course. Sun, Lin, and Wang (2010) also investigated how highly immersive environments impacted students in a virtual astronomy course. The results indicated that students conceptualized information better in an immersive virtual environment. Like Huang et al. (2010), the result was attributed to the ability to better understand abstract information within a virtual environment. Calkan (2011) also explored the concept of abstract coursework by applying virtual reality to fieldwork in the domain of environmental studies. The fieldwork was required to be immersive, interactive, and imaginative to be a successful substitute for real fieldwork. The replicated findings of Sue et al. (2010), Huang et al. (2010), and Calkan (2011) further suggest the importance of immersiveness for effective learning in a virtual environment.

THE APPROPRIATENESS OF VIRTUAL REALITY FOR A LEARNING SITUATION

With the rise of technology comes many exciting and new possibilities. It is understandable that educators want to incorporate and apply virtual reality in educational settings. However, the novelty of virtual reality itself is not a good enough reason to apply it to education. Even the most well-designed virtual environment could potentially cause more harm than good to the quality of education the learner receives.

According to Pantelidis (2010), the following scenarios are when virtual reality should be used: when something can be better described with a demonstration when it is not safe or possible to learn a topic with demonstration when interactivity would help students better understand a topic when it would be more fun and provide better motivation to use virtual reality, when shared group experience of the class will add to the experience, or when the effects of a mistake in real-life training would be devastating or carry enormous consequences.

Pantelidis (2010) also provided a list of reasons it should not be used: when virtual training is not adequate to the real thing, when interacting with real humans is needed, when virtual environments may be damaging to the student when users could too easily confuse the virtual world with the real world, or when the expense of virtual reality is not feasible or worth the outcome. With considerations for these factors, designers should carefully decide what information would be most successfully taught in a virtual environment.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF VIRTUAL LEARNING

In 2012, the first crowdfunding campaign was started for the Oculus Rift, a popular virtual reality headset now owned by Facebook. This launched virtual reality into the mainstream media and virtual reality essentially became a reality, as many people had not been aware of its existence outside of science fiction movies until this point (Dormehl, 2017). This further opened up the conversation about using virtual reality in education, and research began to expand as more questions were asked. With more research came more information about the social, physical, and psychological implications of using virtual reality as an educational tool.

SOCIAL LEARNING SKILLS

Virtual reality is a great tool for encouraging students to work together and to positively influence learning outcomes. By using virtual reality for project creation, students can develop social skills to build social environments and create a community of knowledge that all participants can take part in. Morales, Bang, and Andre (2012) analyzed project-based learning by observing students as they created projects in virtual reality without direct instruction from a teacher. Students were observed relying on each other for assistance.

Students can benefit from learning to build communities of knowledge in situations outside of virtual learning. Rutten, Joolingen, and Veen (2012) also explored the idea and stated that “Mixed-reality technology has the potential to support student discussion interchanges and learning outcomes,” (as cited in Birchfield & Megowan-Romanowicz, 2009). Rutten et al.’s observations can be summarized by the idea that learning within a virtual environment puts students in a position where they are more in control. Students learn to use social relationships as a resource for learning, even in their future careers.

THE IMPACT OF THE HARDWARE

Virtual reality hardware can also impact student learning. Educators should consider using training programs to prepare students to use virtual reality as an educational device, as it could possibly help students learn the material more efficiently. Ray and Deb (2016) observed the effects of using Google Cardboard, a cheaper alternative to most virtual reality headsets due to its use of smartphones. The researchers found that students who were comfortable in the virtual environment performed better than those who reported discomfort using a virtual reality headset. Even if all the factors of good design are met, a student may still be unsuccessful in the course if the student is not comfortable inside of a virtual environment.

Not all students will benefit from the use of virtual environments. Accessibility should continue to be a large focus in education, and requiring the use of virtual reality would minimize accessibility to some students. Crider (2019) argued that it may not be feasible to require all students to use virtual environments. Some students are afraid to have their vision impaired and some will be uncomfortable with the headset on. Other methods of learning should be available to ensure that all students can receive an accessible education.

COGNITIVE FACTORS

By examining the psychological components of virtual reality usage, researchers can further identify factors that lead to successful virtual learning environments. Cognitive modifiability, cognitive load, and neuro-engagement are suggested to be heavily impacted by virtual reality in education.

Educators should strive to teach content in a way that is memorable. Research thus far has pointed towards virtual reality being an efficient way to do so, as information learning inside a virtual environment is more likely to be remembered by students. Passig, Tzuriel, and Eshel-Kedmi (2016) examined how virtual reality impacted the cognitive modifiability, or knowledge retention, of first and second-grade children. The researchers found higher retention rates in students who learned information in a virtual environment, indicating a better understanding of when virtual reality was used to deliver the content. This finding has been repeated by other researchers (Liou, Bhagat, & Chang, 2018). The findings of Passig et al. (2016) and Liou et al. (2018) attributed the higher retention rates to the interactivity involved in virtual reality courses, stating that higher interactivity leads to conceptualization and memory regarding the topic.

Cognitive load is also of high interest in the realm of virtual reality. Cognitive load can be described as the amount of working memory that a person can contribute to achieving a goal (Julien, 2012). If a virtual environment includes too much extra information that has to be cognitively processed, students are at risk of being distracted or unable to concentrate on the subject. Lin, Yan, Chen, and Tarng (2017) examined the relationship between cognitive load and virtual reality and found that students scored lower in virtual reality experimental groups compared to augmented reality groups. The researchers argued that the virtual reality course was not fully immersive and the students were not guided through the program with scaffolding techniques. Students were required to do too much mental work, such as guiding themselves through the course and having to stay focused on the program despite its non-immersiveness. The phrase “mental work” is being used here to describe mental effort being made outside of learning the course material.

Parong and Mayer (2018) repeated the finding of Lin et al. (2017) by testing a virtual reality course where unnecessary information was included and students were not guided along the course. The students reported finding the extra information distracting from the main content. A basic guideline to keep in mind when designing an efficient and successful virtual reality course is the following: the less work, the better.

Students are likely to be more engaged with the course material within a virtual environment. Lamb, Antonenko, Etopio, and Seccia (2018) measured the hemodynamic response of students while they used virtual reality to learn about the process of DNA replication. The hemodynamic response is related to the increase of task engagement. Results indicated that there was a greater hemodynamic response in the prefrontal cortex when users were interacting with educational material in virtual reality. This suggests that students are more engaged when learning with virtual reality. This topic has yet to be thoroughly explored but opens the discussion of the neurological impact of virtual reality. Further research on the psychological components of virtual reality will reveal information about how students engage with virtual reality.

EXPERIENCED-BASED LEARNING

In 2019, a major breakthrough product was released by Oculus. The Oculus Quest is the first stand-alone virtual reality headset, thus allowing more freedom to move around. The financial strain of virtual reality gear has also been lighted by this product because no longer requires a tether to a computer or gaming system (Rogers, 2019). Although experience-based learning has been touched on in past research, the ability to facilitate compelling experiences with more physical freedom calls for the investigation of more immersive experiences, such as virtual field trips and fieldwork, and the impact that it has on learning.

FIELD TRIPS

Some environments and concepts would be impossible to explore or research due to geographical location, safety, and financial issues. The ability to do so with virtual reality is an incredible freedom that creates opportunities for a wider range of learning. The learning experiences provided by field trips can help facilitate the understanding of complex subjects in most fields of science.

Opportunities to explore areas and concepts that are normally unattainable empowers students to explore new topics with high levels of motivation. Beas (2016) discussed how students interacted in an “Immersive Worlds” project to learn about marine biology. Beas suggested that virtual reality provides a safe and cost-effective alternative to exploring certain environments, such as the sea bed, that would be impossible to explore without virtual reality.

However, scaffolding, immersiveness, and interactivity of the virtual field trip continue to play a large role in the experience and overall performance of the students. A virtual field trip will be efficient in teaching if students are guided through a virtual trip and have the opportunity to interact with the material. Chenga and Tsaib (2019) observed how a teacher scaffolded learning during a virtual field trip. Questionnaires revealed that students had a strong sense of involvement and physical presence during the virtual trip.

The findings of Chenga and Tsaib (2019) have been repeated (Fung et al., 2019), further indicating that students can feel present and involved in a virtual environment and that virtual reality can have a positive impact on the motivation and attitudes of students.

FIELDWORK

Field trips are great learning experiences for students. Fieldwork is similar to a field trip, as they both allow students to experience a concept outside of a normal classroom environment. Fieldwork is especially crucial to the field of science because it allows students to make observations and develop hypotheses about the field.

Using virtual reality provides students with more access and opportunity to learn outside of normal classroom hours. Distance learning students and students who want to study past normal lab hours can benefit from not having time constraints to examine specimens. Cho and Clary (2019) observed how students interact with virtual rock specimens, which is an important part of learning in the field of geology. The students reported enjoying the virtual rocks and the ability to zoom in on the surfaces but did not like that they could not have physical interaction with the rocks. There was no difference in scores between the groups that observed real rocks versus the group that observed virtual rocks. This finding reiterates the fact that virtual reality is a great tool for students who may not have access to specimens, but is not the best choice in every learning situation.

Virtual reality should be used when a real learning scenario is not attainable, such as an ecosystem of an untraveled environment, but it should be used in conjunction with the design standards that research has suggested thus far. Mead et al. (2019) also investigated virtual fieldwork in the field of geology. By using immersive, interactive virtual fields, or iVFTs, the researchers examined the effects of education by exploration of an ecosystem. Results of test scores indicated that students had high information retention rates after engaging with the iVFT. This research demonstrates that virtual reality fieldwork is efficient in increasing the retention of information.

Learning with experience is an efficient way to learn an educational topic. Virtual reality allows students to learn the material with hands-on experience, even when it would not be possible in real life. Field trips, fieldwork, and experiences also create new potential for learning. Zimmermen (2019) reports that virtual reality helps students learn about the inside of the human body, allows students to learn about animals humanely, and provides students with a safe place to experiment and learn. Students can take a virtual journey into the body to learn how humans fight off viruses, dissect animals, and learn about lab safety without actually being put into an unsafe situation. With the improvement of virtual reality software, the possibilities that students can experience will continue to grow.

CONCLUSION

Technology is ever-growing. There is still much to be discovered about virtual reality and the possibilities it creates for learning. Currently, there are still many topics to be explored, such as adaptive virtual environments and further cognitive implications of virtual reality use. Since 2018, Google has partnered with a virtual lab simulator known as Labster to develop anatomy and biology courses for high schools and colleges (Zimmerman, 2019). This suggests that many more science courses will be taken in a virtual reality format in the future.

It is likely that researchers will continue to discover additional design factors that make a virtual learning environment more successful. Research fields such as psychology and human-computer interaction will continue to get involved in the research, and this will uncover more information about the use of virtual reality from different academic perspectives. Finally, the advancement of virtual reality hardware and software will lead to new ways to implement it in education. If researchers, developers, and educators continue to use already researched principles to build on successful virtual reality coursework, there will continue to be growth and positive results from teaching with virtual reality. Researchers investigating how technological advancement can impact learning will continue to uncover new and efficient ways to teach with learning tools such as virtual reality.

REFERENCES

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Birchfield, D. & Megowan-Romanowicz, C. (2009). Earth science learning in SMALLab: A design experiment for mixed reality. International Journal of Computer-Supported, 4(4), 403–421. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-009-9074-8

Bogusevschi, D., Muntean, C. & Muntean, G.M. (2019). Teaching and Learning Physics using 3D Virtual Learning Environment: A Case Study of Combined Virtual Reality and Virtual Laboratory in Secondary School. In K. Graziano (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference. Las Vegas, NV, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/207721/.

Calkan, O. (2011). Virtual field trips in education of Earth and environmental sciences. Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 3239–3243. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.04.278

Chen, C. H., Yang, J. C., Shen, S., & Jeng, M. C. (2007). A desktop virtual reality Earth motion system in astronomy education. Educational Technology & Society, 10(3), 289–304. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-009-9181-z

Chenga, K. H., & Tsaib, C., C. (2019). A case study of immersive virtual field trips in an elementary classroom: Students’ learning experience and teacher-student interaction behaviors. Computers & Education, 140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103600

Cho, Y. & Clary, R. M. (2019) Assessment of virtual rock specimens in a traditional introductory geology lab, presented at Mississippi Academy of Sciences 83rd Annual Meeting: Hattiesburg, 2019. Hattiesburg: MS. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331396309_Assessment_of_Virtual_Rock_Specimens_in_a_Traditional_Introductory_Geology_Lab/stats

Crider, A. (2019, forthcoming). Astronomy Education in Virtual Worlds and Virtual Reality. In Impey, C., & Wenger, M. (Eds.) Astronomy Education — Online Formal and Informal Learning. Institute of Physics: Bristol.

Dormehl, L. (2018, April). 8 Major Milestones in the Brief History of Virtual Reality. Retrieved from https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/history-of-virtual-reality/

Fung, F. M., Choo, W. Y., Ardisara, A., Zimmermann, C. D., Watts, S., Koscielniak, T., Etienne, B., Coumoul, X., Dumke, R. (2019) Applying a virtual reality platform in environmental chemistry education to conduct a field trip to an overseas site. Journal of Chemical Education, 96(2). 382–386. 10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00728

Huang, H. M., Rauch, U., & Liaw, S. S. (2010). Investigating learners’ attitudes toward virtual reality learning environments: Based on a constructivist approach. Computers and Education, 55(3), 1171–1182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.05.014

Instructional Scaffolding to Improve Learning [PDF File]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.niu.edu/facdev/_pdf/guide/strategies/instructional_scaffolding_to_improve_learning.pdf

Interaction Design Foundation (2019). Augmented reality — the past, the present and the future. Retrieved from https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/augmented-reality-the-past-the-present-and-the-future.

Julien, J. (2012, March). Cognition & The Intrinsic User Experience. Retrieved from https://uxmag.com/articles/cognition-the-intrinsic-user-experience

Lamb, R., Antonenko, P., Etopio, E., & Seccia, A. (2018). Comparison of virtual reality and hands on activities in science education via functional near infrared spectroscopy. Computers & Education, 124(1), 14–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.05.014

Liou, H. H., Yang, S. J. H., Chen, S. Y., & Tarng, W. (2017). The influences of the 2D image-based augmented reality and virtual reality on student learning. Educational Technology & Society, 20 (3), 110–121. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/26196123

Liou, W.K., Bhagat, K.K., & Chang, C. Y. (2018). The design, implementation, and evaluation of a digital interactive globe system integrated into an Earth Science course. Educational Technology Research and Development, 66(2), 545–561. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-018-9573-2

Lowood, H. E. (2018, November). Virtual reality. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/technology/virtual-reality

Mead, C., Buxner, S., Bruce, G., Taylor, W., Semken , S., & Anbar, A. D., (2019) Immersive, interactive virtual field trips promote science learning. Journal of Geoscience Education, 67(2), 131–142. DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2019.1565285

Morales, T., Bang, E., & Andre, T. (2012). A one-year case study: understanding the rich potential of project-based learning in a virtual reality class for high school students. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 22(5), 791–806. DOI: 10.1007/s10956–012–9431–7

Nicholson, D. T., Chalk, C., Funnell, W. R. J., Daniel, S. J. (2006). Can virtual reality improve anatomy education? A randomized controlled study of a computer‐generated three‐dimensional anatomical ear model. Medical Education, 40(11), 1081–1087. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2929.2006.02611

Pan Z., Cheok A. D., Yang, H., Zhu J., & Shia J. (2006) Virtual reality and mixed reality for

virtual learning environments. Computers and Graphics, 30(1), 20–28. https://doi.org/10.1007/11736639_4

Pantelidis, V. S. (2010) Reasons to use virtual reality in education and training courses and a model to determine when to use virtual reality. Themes is Science and Technology Education, 2(1–2), 59–70.

http://www.timtechconsults.com/images/ttcvreducation%20.pdf

Parong, J., & Mayer, R. E. (2018). Learning science in immersive virtual reality. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(6), 785–797. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000241

Passig, D., Tzuriel, D., Eshel-Kedmi, G,. (2016). Improving children’s cognitive modifiability by dynamic assessment in 3D Immersive Virtual Reality environments. Computers & Education, 95, 296–308. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2763489.

Ray, A. B., & Deb, S. (2016). Smartphone based virtual reality systems in classroom teaching — a study on the effects of learning outcome. Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE Eighth International Conference on Technology for Education (T4E). Mumbai, India: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). DOI: 10.1109/T4E.2016.022

Rogers, S. (2019, July). 2019: The Year Virtual Reality Gets Real. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/solrogers/2019/06/21/2019-the-year-virtual-reality-gets-real/#10dca6b96ba9

Roussou, M., Oliver, M. & Slater, M. (2006). The virtual playground: an educational virtual reality environment for evaluating interactivity and conceptual. Virtual Reality, 10(3–4), 227–240. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-006-0035-5

Rutten, N., Joolingen W. R. V., Veen, J. T. (2012). The learning effects of computer simulations in science education. Computers & Education, 58(1), 136–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.07.017

Sun, K. T., Lin, C. L. & Wang, S. M. (2010). A 3-D virtual reality model of the sun and the moon for e-learning at elementary schools. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8(4), 689–710. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-009-9181-z

What is Virtual Reality? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality/what-is-virtual-reality.html

Virtual Reality Immersion. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality/immersion.html

Zimmermen, E. (2019). K–12 teachers use augmented and virtual reality platforms to teach biology. Retrieved from https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/03/k-12-teachers-use-augmented-and-virtual-reality-platforms-teach-biology-perfcon

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AR Devices of 2021, The Now and The Future

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Lucid Reality Labs

The excitement around Augmented Reality (AR) continues to be fueled by the tech industry leaders. From new product teasers to roadmaps and official launch dates. We have heard many exciting announcements revolving around AR last year, making more headlines in 2021. Today, as we have completed the first half of the year, we would like to take a look at the devices promised, what has already been launch and what is yet to come.

Before we dive into the devices let’s have a quick look at AR, as a technology in general. Out of the immersive technologies, AR is the one that is most entwined into the real world. It allows to enhance everyday life with digital capabilities and visual overlays, making it a powerful tool for both businesses and consumers.

We continue to see global industry players implementing and making their moves in the AR domain. With Kia and Audi promising AR windshields, growing popularity of AR Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), recent Snap Inc. acquisition of WaveOptics Ltd, the makers of mass market AR displays, and much more. Like with any prominent technology, the market growth figures show the actual scale of potential future outreach. With the AR market estimated to hit USD 72.7 billion by 2024.

The topic of AR has been picked up in many global tech and industry events. The 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the most influential annual tech events on the global scale, has served as a platform for a number of exciting AR announcements, from Vizux, Lenovo, Blickfeld and many more. The VR/AR association (VRARA) June 2021 Global Summit, had an extensive pool of AR topics, covering latest industry trends, connecting professionals in the immersive technology field from all around the world to share vision and ideas.

Having said all that, let’s now look at the AR devices of 2021 and their potential to become the gamechangers of both tomorrow and the future.

1. How VR could bring transhumanism to the masses

2. How Augmented Reality (AR) is Reshaping the Food Service Industry

3. ExpiCulture — Developing an Original World-Traveling VR Experience

4. Enterprise AR: 7 real-world use cases for 2021

VUZIX NEXT GEN SMART GLASSES

During the CES 2021, Vuzix announced the launch of their Next Gen Smart Glasses which are reported to arrive already this summer. The glasses came as a true breakthrough during the CES 2021 taking 3 Innovation Awards. This latest pair of microLED smart glasses have quite a contrast to the traditional Vuzix models. Their ordinary eyewear design makes the pair suitable and easily wearable in public. The glasses are promised to be compatible with Wifi and optional LTE, and to feature immersive stereo speakers, noise cancelling microphones, and a selection of both mono and multi-colour uLED displays. The gesture-based touch controls should be supported for both Android and iOS. According to the latest Vuzix press releases the Next Gen Smart are rapidly gaining popularity in the healthcare industry.

LENOVO THINKREALITY A3

Lenovo has also made its new Smart Glasses announcement during CES 2021, reporting availability in mid-2021. In the official Press Release, Lenovo’s new ThinkReality A3, were communicated as ‘the most versatile enterprise smart glasses ever’. The glasses are promised to break the boundaries of a traditional workspace, designed to be used as a convenient augmented display for both at home and on factory floor use. The glasses promise to enable users to select their workplace and customize it to suit their physical work location as well as personal preferences. That way, the user will feel like they’ve never left the office, which may aid employees in overcoming some of the psychological challenges of the lockdowns and remote work. The new Lenovo glasses are promised to be Motorola moto g100 compatible, which supports both the 5G and Wifi-6 connection as well as compatible with Lenovo ThinkPad P Series PCs.

SNAP INC. NEXT GENERATION OF SPECTACLES

On May 20, 2021 Snap Inc. issued an official introduction to their Next Generation of Spectacles aimed at AR creators, which was shared during the Snap Partner Summit 2021. The new lightweight spectacles are built using the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 Platform leveraging 6 DOF (degree of freedom) including hand, surface and marker tracking, providing a 26.3-degree FOV (field of vision). The spectacles feature dual 3D waveguide display, 2 RGB cameras, touchpad, 4 inbuilt microphones as well as 2 stereo speakers. The displays dynamically adjust to both indoor and outdoor use. Even though today Snap Spectacles are not aimed at general consumers, it is clear that they can open the door to more unique immersive content creation in the long run.

FACEBOOK RAY BAN SMART GLASSES

Facebook has announced its pair of AR smart glasses back in Autumn 2020, the sneak peak of their collaboration with Ray Ban. Originally communicated as a potential new set of AR glasses, with an ambition to be launched already in 2021. Not much detail is still known about the device, with even the approximate launch date remaining a mystery. In the recent month more news appeared on how Facebook has had to lower the expectations for the originally planned AR capabilities of the device. As not much information has been shared or leaked so far, what is left is to only wait and see for oneself what Facebook will end up delivering.

With more devices coming to the market, we can expect a rapid increase in demand for both business and consumer aimed AR experiences. What seems like baby steps today, is about to accelerate progressively, allowing to enhance our reality of tomorrow as well as much further in the future.

Find out more about AR solutions in our Portfolio or by Contacting us.

Authors: Anton Suprunenko, Lucid Reality Labs Head of Design | Anna Rohi, Lucid Reality Labs Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

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Source: https://arvrjourney.com/ar-devices-of-2021-the-now-and-the-future-ae312acfa354?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

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