Welcome to the new frontier of training. These three topics have been seen in the news, and online more frequently over the years. But the question is still, what is it really and why do I need to know about it?
Let’s start with the first one, Virtual Reality or VR. Virtual Reality creates a simulated landscape for the individual to experience. VR could carry the user to faraway lands or transport them into a conference room in another state or country to attend a meeting. The limitations are only set by the individual designing the application the user will execute. Virtual reality is conducted using an immersive headset. These headsets are fully enclosed and block out all external light. Some headsets have immersive speakers built into them, but to be fully immersed the user should use a good pair of headphones.
Augmented Reality or AR uses goggles, glasses, phones, or tablets. These units allow a local view of your surroundings while placing digital markers in your view to enhance your experience. The user can now navigate a work area, a city, or other places with no obstruction of view, once the unit is triggered by a marker an image will appear in the uses view to enhance their experience. These have been used for land navigation, assisting individuals to build items on a production site, and helping troubleshoot large items like aircraft, or ships. There are many applications, but the main purpose is to overlay an image on the users’ current view.
In the Metaverse, both VR/AR take place. The Metaverse is where the internet “ends”. This seems a little incomprehensible, but the internet has limitations. In the Metaverse, all items can exist, and new worlds can be formed (like in the movie ‘Ready Player One’). This can be an uncomfortable thought, but just like the internet, there will be no stopping this progression. The Metaverse will allow us to be creative and expand technology like we haven’t seen before. For many of us this can be scary, but just like streaming replaced DVDs that replaced VCR, the Metaverse may not replace the internet, but it will enhance it.
With AR/VR we now have a new tool to embrace. We can take our students on journeys as we have never seen before. We can train our workers to experience dangerous situations without placing them in danger. The uses for these applications are now being explored and new ideas are being implemented and deployed often. It is our job as educators to see what works for the taskings we have. These items may not be appropriate for your current use but think about what they can do for education in the future.
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