With the help of a virtual reality game their professor created, some students at Cornell University have gathered evidence that interacting with other people in a game-playing atmosphere may help them learn more.
With the VR rig on, I see the workers on the platform crashing toward the floor. I hear the sizzle of electricity that awaits them if they hit the floor. I feel the pressure of the clock. But when I reach out to push the avatar, my hands find a warm human back. In a visceral variation of the trolley problem, Ivan Wang, the soft-spoken, polite student dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, is standing—in the flesh—exactly where I see the avatar.
The sights and sounds of everyday life have become background noise to most of us; for someone with autism, it can be quite terrifying. Through the power of virtual reality, the National Autism Society wants to give each of us a passing glimpse into what life is like for someone on the autism spectrum. The …
As Google develops its VR platform, Daydream, the company is sharing clips of its virtual reality concepts and prototypes. The latest tackle the problem of how to represent users in a virtual space, with Google's engineers settling on a simple solution: googly eyes.
Amy Cross's insight:
The problem with this is that they're missing out on one of the most important features of virtual reality's potential for the human side of our natures. They're missing the Avatar Effect. How we present ourselves, as an avatar, often helps us to recognize our strengths and to heal the parts in us that might feel broken. This is no small matter. Ask those who are using the technology in the treatment of PTSD and obesity.
With truly immersive headsets now on the market, academics are beginning to explore how to use the technology for teaching
Amy Cross's insight:
It seems like we'd be done with the talking and be full on into the doing by now. There are many of us who have been teaching in many iterations of virtual reality and technologies for many years. It will revolutionize higher education learning when the institutions trust the pioneers and help to open the doors.
Three things are possible with VR that can't be duplicated with traditional platforms, he says. "You can go places and feel like you're there. You can become people you couldn't before. And you can do things in the environment that you couldn't do before. VR lets us bring them into these worlds."
Standing by his office window, high above Sydney, Simon Mordant found himself in another world. The businessman and arts benefactor was wearing a virtual reality headset and immersed in his most recent purchase: a new work by Australian artist Shaun Gladwell.
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