The classroom of the future: We went on a virtual field trip with Google Cardboard — from by Will Shanklin


Google’s Cardboard Expeditions is the company’s plan to get Cardboard VR headsets in the hands of teachers, for use in classrooms. While most companies start with AAA consumer products, and eventually find a way to get said products into the educational market, Google is jumping straight to that point – letting teachers use the cheap headsets to take students on virtual field trips.

I went on one of those field trips today, during a demo session at Google I/O. We may have been a group full of developers and other members of the press, but for a few minutes we played the roles of kids taking a field trip to the Natural History Museum. It was a fascinating glimpse into the classroom of the future.

This “trip” consisted of 360-degree photos of various points in the museum: T-Rex skeletons, Alaskan Moose and the like. Our “teacher” (in this case, a Googler) talked to us through our headphones, indicating points in our virtual environments that she was talking about – through circles and arrows that popped up to nudge us in the right direction.







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Augmented and Virtual Reality get real: A look at media applications happening now — from by Michelle Manafy


Here are some examples of the ways in which media outlets are leveraging AR:

  • National Geographic was early to experiment with AR—notably with its 2011 shopping mall experience that allowed shoppers to interact with dinosaurs. More recently, National Geographic has begun to leverage AR for educational experiences that enhance explorations of natural places.
  • Disney also offers an “edutainment” application of AR with its Disneynature Explore app, which offers kids a way to take adventures in their own backyards while learning more about nature along the way.
  • Conde Nast Traveler uses GPS data location and augmented reality in its iPhone Apps to allow travelers to find things and learn more simply by pointing their phone in a given direction.
  • Conde Nast is also among several media outlets—including Time Inc., The Wall Street Journal and Warner Brothers Interactive—that are working with Shazam, which can scan physical objects for augmented reality and other enhanced content.

Virtual reality headsets and content will be “the next mega tech theme” and a market worth more than $60 billion in a decade, according to investment bank, Piper Jaffray Cos. And as we increasingly see, mega tech themes quickly become mega media themes, as the two are intertwined in the minds—and devices—of consumers.