There is quite a lot out there at the moment about virtual reality. News just today in the NY Times assesses the current position of this technology in Gartner’s hype cycle – apparently we are now in the “trough of disillusionment.” Indeed, some have even claimed that this new tech may even be the “ultimate empathy machine”. Okay. As I said back in 2007, let’s get real about the virtual.
Defining it: Virtual reality, to my mind, falls into three different categories.
- Augmented – Digital content applied through a visible overlay onto one’s current physical environment
- Immersive Video – 360 video as experienced through a head-mounted viewer.
- Synthetic – Completely computer-generated environments to be experienced on a flat screen or through a head-mounted viewer.
I know that there is a growing number of haptic systems that allow for additional input / feedback systems (Oculus and HTC Vive, for example), but I’m only talking at the moment about broad categories of virtual reality. To that end, I’d like to share a few examples and offer some possible applications of these virtual reality technologies to learning.