For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Part 2: Virtual Reality Headsets: Which One Is For You? — from 900lbs.com
It’s 2017, a new year, and another tremendous growth opportunity for VR and AR. With advancements in eye-tracking technology, inside-out camera-based positional tracking, the implementation of add-on wireless capabilities for tethered headsets, and a push for lower price points, just like the preceding year, 2017 will continue to be a time of growth and technological innovation for virtual and augmented reality headsets.
As mentioned before, VR/AR headsets are still in the introduction stage of the product cycle while steadily creeping into its second iteration as investment in R&D is being poured into the industry. Here at 900lbs, we’re researching all we can to stay on frontier of the emerging market, making sure we’re using the greatest, if not latest, hardware and software for our projects.
We compiled a list of the coolest, mind-blowing headsets last year (Part 1), but much has changed and will change. Here’s an updated list of the coolest (still mind-blowing) headsets available or soon-to-be-available on the market now. Note: we included some of the headsets we covered in our original post.
12 augmented reality apps students can use today — from ecampusnews.com by Laura Ascione
As augmented reality’s classroom potential grows, apps are becoming more relevant and targeted
Augmented reality–a technology that uses a trigger image to superimpose digital content over a user’s view of the real world–is growing in popularity and accessibility, and it holds a wealth of potential for education.
“If you can captivate those kids when you introduce the lesson, you know they’re going to pay attention throughout the lesson,” Peterson said. “This is a great way to grab kids and get them involved.”
How VR is Helping the Broken Prison System — from vudream.com by Mark Metry
Virtual Rehab focuses on 4 areas:
- Formal Education
Virtual Rehab will develop an interactive formal education tool, where inmates can strengthen their knowledge of English, Business, Mathematics, Sciences, Technology, and other courses, as deemed appropriate
- Vocational Job Training
Leveraging Virtual Rehab’s interactive tool, inmates will be able to acquire new vocational job training skills including car mechanic, plumbing, welding, carpentry, and others, as deemed appropriate
- Psychological Rehabilitation
Virtual Rehab’s interactive tool will assist in treating inmates psychological challenges including mental & emotional disorders, co-existing disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, and others, as deemed appropriate
- Correctional Services Rehabilitation
The real-life scenarios and interactivity of Virtual Rehab’s tool will allow inmates to undergo correctional services rehabilitation across sex offending, family violence, alcoholism, and others, as deemed appropriate.
Outline of a VR History App — from medium.com by Robson Beaudry
Companies Creating AR Smart Glasses — from thearea.org
Some excerpts of this infographic:
“In a decade, Hymnary.org has become the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet, a rich resource now visited by more than 5 million people each year!”
Hymnary.org was founded by Calvin College Computer Science Professor Harry Plantinga and Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Music Associate Greg Scheer.
Virtual reality is actually here — from computerworld.in by Bart Perkins
In parallel with gaming, VR is expanding into many other areas, including these:
Surgical Theater is working with UCLA, New York University, the Mayo Clinic and other major medical centers to use VR to help surgeons prepare for difficult operations. Virtual 3D models are constructed from MRIs, CAT scans and/or ultrasounds.
- Mental health
Meditation promotes mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.
Unimersiv is focusing on historical sites, creating a series of VR tours for the Colosseum, Acropolis, Parthenon, Stonehenge, Titanic, etc. These tours allow each site to be explored as it existed when it was built. Additional locations’ virtual sites and attractions will undoubtedly be added in the near future. The British Museum offered a Virtual Reality Weekend in August 2015. Visitors were able to explore a Bronze Age roundhouse with a flickering fire and changing levels of light while they “handled” Bronze Age relics. The American Museum of Natural History allows students anywhere in the world to take virtual tours of selected museum exhibits, and other museums will soon follow.
Virtual reality is an excellent tool when the task is dangerous or the equipment involved is expensive.
- Crime reconstruction
Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality will form the basis for the next set of collaboration tools.
VR and education: Why we shouldn’t wait to reap the benefits – from medium.com by Josh Maldonad
However, we see very little experienced-based learning in all levels of education today. Traditional learning consists of little more than oration through lectures and textbooks (and their digital equivalents). Experience-based learning is often very difficult to facilitate in the classroom. Whether it be a field trip in elementary school, or simulation exercises in med school, it can be tedious, costly and time consuming.
Where VR is really winning in education is in subject matter retention. The first of several surveys that we’ve done was based on a VR field trip through the circulatory system with high-school age children. We saw an increase of nearly 80% in subject matter retention from a group that used VR, compared against a control group that was provided the same subject matter via text and image. (I’ll expand on the details of this experiment, and some research initiatives we’re working on in another blog post).
Example apps in healthcare:
- Emergency response and Triage Decision making
- Nursing fundamentals, safety and communication procedures
- Anesthesiology: patient monitoring and dosage delivery
Residential design and virtual reality: a better way to build a home? — from connectedlife.style
The old phrase of ‘needing to see it to believe it’ is a powerful mantra across all aspects of residential design. Architecture, interior design and property development are all highly visual trades that require buy-in from both those working on the project and the client. As such, making sure everyone is sold on a coherent vision is vital to ensure that everything goes smoothly and no one is left dissatisfied when the project is completed.
Google Translate: Updated
For those travelers out there, you might want to know about Google Translate’s ability to read in an image of one language, and provide you with a translation of that language/signage/label/etc.
- Translate written words
- Tap to translate
- Translate by speech
- Translate a bilingual conversation
- Translate text messages, webpages, or documents
- Translate with handwriting or virtual keyboard
From this page, here are some of the visual translation products:
- Google Translate (iOS / Android)
- WayGo (iOS / Android)
- 1.3 Word Lens (iOS / Android)
- Bing Translator (Windows Phone)
Now HoloLens lets you check your mail in a wall-sized mixed reality version of Outlook — from pcworld.com by Ian Paul
Now you can check your email or make a calendar appointment without removing Microsoft’s augmented reality headset.
You now can pin multiple 2D apps in virtual space,
and Microsoft’s HoloLens will remember where they are.
VR in Education: What’s Already Happening in the Classroom — from arvrmagazine.com by Susanne Krause
“Engagement was off the charts” | Connecting to the world and creating new ones using virtual reality
It’s a way for educators to bring their students to places that would be out of reach otherwise. Google Expeditions, the VR mode of Google Street View and Nearpod’s virtual field trips are among the most popular experiences teachers explore with their students. “Some of our students have never really left the bubbles of their own town”, says Jaime Donally, creator of the #ARVRinEDU chat on Twitter. “Virtual reality is a relatively inexpensive way to show them the world.”
How augmented reality is transforming building management — from ibm.com
IBM People for Smarter Cities presents “Dublin lab – Cognitive Buildings”
In the video below, a facilities manager is using a mobile device to scan a QR code on a wall, behind which is a critical piece of HVAC equipment. With one scan, we can view data on the asset’s performance and health, location data for the asset. This data is being pulled by the IoT Platform from the asset itself, TRIRIGA, and any other useful sources.
But the best experiences, VR acolytes agree, are still yet to come. Resh Sidhu leads VR development for Framestore, the high-end visual effects house that won an Oscar for the movie Gravity, and has since expanded into creating VR content. With hardware finally delivering on its promise, she believes it is now up to creatives to explore the possibilities.
HTC Brings VR Center to Paris; Vive Exhibit at Nobel Museum — from vrscout.com by Jonathan Nafarrete
HTC recently collaborated with TIME-LIFE on “Remembering Pearl Harbor,” a VR experience commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack with exhibitions at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City and the Newsuem in Washington D.C. Last month, Vive also collaborated with the Royal Academy of Arts in London on the world’s first 3-D printed VR art exhibit.
Now HTC Vive has revealed the launch of a new VR center at La Geode, part of Paris’ Science and Industry Museum, as well as a partnership with the Nobel Museum for a first-of-its-kind VR exhibit showcasing the contributions of Nobel laureates.
The speakers — and the topics that they’ll be discussing — for the 2017 January Series have been announced. As you can see, very knowledgeable, talented speakers are planning on covering a variety of meaningful topics such as:
- 500 Years Later: Why the Reformation Still Matters
- Poverty and Profit in the American City
- Race, Trauma, and the Doctrine of Discovery
- Closing the Gender Gap in Technology
- Tinkering in Today’s Healthcare Factories: Pursuing the Renewal of Medicine
- Until All Are Free: A Look at Slavery Today and the Church’s Invitation to End It
- I’ll Push You: A Story of Radical Friendship, Overcoming Challenges and the Power of Community
- The EU and Global Governance
- The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right
- How Did We Get Here? A Historical Perspective on Our Wild 2016 Election
- How to Find and Live Your Calling: Lessons from the Psychology of Vocation
- The World is a Scary Place, Love Anyway
- The Royal Revolution: Fresh Perspectives on the Cross
- American Violinist in Concert
- Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World than Actually Changing the World?
You don’t have to physically attend these presentations in order to benefit from them, as the majority of these presentations will be streamed live over the Internet (audio only). So plan now to attend (physically or virtually) one or more of these excellent talks.
Virtual Reality in the Classroom — from usnews.com by Charles Sahm
Using virtual reality as an educational tool could transform the American high school experience.
Listening to Andrew describe the potential of virtual reality tools to improve education is thrilling. He talks about the evolution of a student reading about France in a textbook, to watching a YouTube video about France, to, via virtual reality, being able to walk the streets of Paris. He imagines students not only being able to read about the Constitutional Convention, but to actually be in “the room where it happens.” (Andrew, like many, is enamored of the musical “Hamilton.”)
Andrew acknowledges, however, that virtual reality as an educational tool is still in the very early stages. Washington Leadership Academy intends to develop a number of programs and then share them with other schools. It is exciting to consider what could be accomplished if the power of virtual reality were harnessed for education rather than gaming; if developers turned their resources away from creating games that teach children how to steal cars and kill people and toward allowing them to explore history, science, art and other subjects in innovative new ways.
9 Best Augmented Reality Smart Glasses 2016 — from appcessories.co.uk
2016 has been promoted as the year of virtual reality. In the space of a few months, we have seen brands like Facebook, Samsung and Sony have all come out with VR products of their own. But another closely related industry has been making a growing presence in the tech industry. Augmented reality, or simply AR, is gaining ground among tech companies and even consumers. Google was the first contender for coolest AR product with its Google Glass. Too bad that did not work out; it felt like a product too ahead of its time. Companies like Microsoft, Magic Leap and even Apple are hoping to pick up from where Google left off. They are creating their own smart glasses that will, hopefully, do better than Google Glass. In our article, we look at some of the coolest Augmented Reality smart glasses around.
Some of them are already out while others are in development.
The holy grail of Virtual Reality: A complete suspension of disbelief — from labster.com by Marian Reed
It’s no secret that we here at Labster are pretty excited about VR. However, if we are to successfully introduce VR into education and training we need to know how to create VR simulations that unlock these new great ways of learning.
Computer science researchers create augmented reality education tool — from ucalgary.ca by Erin Guiltenane
Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
Christian Jacob and Markus Santoso are trying to re-create the experience of the aforementioned agents in Fantastic Voyage. Working with 3D modelling company Zygote, they and recent MSc graduate Douglas Yuen have created HoloCell, an educational software. Using Microsoft’s revolutionary HoloLens AR glasses, HoloCell provides a mixed reality experience allowing users to explore a 3D simulation of the inner workings, organelles, and molecules of a healthy human cell.
Upload, Google, HTC and Udacity join forces for new VR education program — from uploadvr.com
Upload is teaming up with Udacity, Google and HTC to build an industry-recognized VR certification program.
According to Udacity representatives, the organization will now be adding a VR track to its “nanodegree”program. Udacity’s nanodegrees are certification routes that can be completed completely online at a student’s own pace. These courses typically take between 6-12 months and cost $199 per month. Students will also receive half of their tuition back if they complete a course within six months. The new VR course will follow this pattern as well.
The VR nanodegree program was curated by Udacity after the organization interviewed dozens of VR savvy companies about the type of skills they look for in a potential new hire. This information was then built into a curriculum through a joint effort between Google, HTC and Upload.
Virtual reality helps Germany catch last Nazi war criminals — from theguardian.com by Agence France-Presse
Lack of knowledge no longer an excuse as precise 3D model of Auschwitz, showing gas chambers and crematoria, helps address atrocities
German prosecutors and police have developed 3D technology to help them catch the last living Nazi war criminals with a highly precise model of Auschwitz.
Also related to this:
Auschwitz war criminals targeted with help of virtual reality — from jpost.com by
German prosecutors and police have begun using virtual reality headsets in their quest to bring the last remaining Auschwitz war criminals to justice, AFP reported Sunday.
Using the blueprints of the death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Bavarian state crime office digital imaging expert Ralf Breker has created a virtual reality model of Auschwitz which allows judges and prosecutors to mimic moving around the camp as it stood during the Holocaust.
How the UN thinks virtual reality could not only build empathy, but catalyze change, too — from yahoo.com by Lulu Chang
Technology is hoping to turn empathy into action. Or at least, the United Nations is hoping to do so. The intergovernmental organization is more than seven decades old at this point, but it’s constantly finding new ways to better the world’s citizenry. And the latest tool in its arsenal? Virtual reality.
Last year, the UN debuted its United Nations Virtual Reality, which uses the technology to advocate for communities the world over. And more recently, the organization launched an app made specifically for virtual reality films. First debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, this app encourages folks to not only watch the UN’s VR films, but to then take action by way of donations or volunteer work.
Occipital Wants to Turn iPhones into Mixed Virtual Reality Headsets — from next.reality.news by Adam Dachis
If you’re an Apple user and want an untethered virtual reality system, you’re currently stuck with Google Cardboard, which doesn’t hold a candle to the room scale VR provided by the HTC Vive (a headset not compatible with Macs, by the way). But spatial computing company Occipital just figured out how to use their Structure Core 3D Sensor to provide room scale VR to any smartphone headset—whether it’s for an iPhone or Android.
‘The Body VR’ Brings Educational Tour Of The Human Body To HTC Vive Today — from uploadvr.com by Jamie Feltham on October 3rd, 2016
The Body VR is a great example of how the Oculus Rift and Gear VR can be used to educate as well as entertain. Starting today, it’s also a great example of how the HTC Vive can do the same.
The developers previously released this VR biology lesson for free back at the launch of the Gear VR and, in turn, the Oculus Rift. Now an upgraded version is available on Valve and HTC’s Steam VR headset. You’ll still get the original experience in which you explore the human body, travelling through the bloodstream to learn about blood cells and looking at how organelles work. The piece is narrated as you go.
Virtual Reality Dazzles Harvard University — from universityherald.com
For a moment, students were taken into another world without leaving the great halls of Harvard. Some students had a great time exploring the ocean floor and saw unique underwater animals, others tried their hand in hockey, while others screamed as they got into a racecar and sped on a virtual speedway. All of them, getting a taste of what virtual and augmented reality looks like.
All of these, of course, were not just about fun but on how especially augmented and virtual reality can transform every kind of industry. This will be discussed and demonstrated at the i-lab in the coming weeks with Rony Abovitz, CEO of Magic Leap Inc., as the keynote speaker.
Abovitz was responsible for developing the “Mixed Reality Lightfield,” a technology that combines augmented and virtual reality. According to Abovitz, it will help those who are struggling to “transfer two-dimensional information or text into “spatial learning.”
“I think it will make life easier for a lot of people and open doors for a lot of people because we are making technology fit how our brains evolved into the physics of the universe rather than forcing our brains to adapt to a more limited technology,” he added.
Addendum on 10/6/16:
- PS VR Review Roundup: Great Design And Price Is Marred By Poor Tracking And Content — from uploadvr.com
- 4 types of augmented reality for events — from bizbash.com
Take a step inside the classroom of tomorrow — from techradar.com by Nicholas Fearn
Making learning fun
But the classroom of tomorrow will look very different. The latest advancements in technology and innovation are paving the way for an educational space that’s interactive, engaging and fun.
The conventions of learning are changing. It’s becoming normal for youngsters to use games like Minecraft to develop skills such as team working and problem solving, and for teachers to turn to artificial intelligence to get a better understanding of how their pupils are progressing in lessons.
Virtual reality is also introducing new possibilities in the classroom. Gone are the days of imagining what an Ancient Egyptian tomb might look like – now you can just strap on a headset and transport yourself there in a heartbeat.
The potential for using VR to teach history, geography and other subjects is incredible when you really think about it – and it’s not the only tech that’s going to shake things up.
Artificial intelligence is already doing groundbreaking things in areas like robotics, computer science, neuroscience and linguistics, but now they’re now entering the world of education too.
London-based edtech firm Digital Assess has been working on an AI app that has the potential to revolutionise the way youngsters learn.
With the backing of the UK Government, the company has been trialing its web-based application Formative Assess in schools in England.
Using semantic indexing and natural language processing in a similar way to social networking sites, an on-screen avatar – which can be a rubber duck or robot – quizzes students on their knowledge and provides them with individual feedback on their work.