How VR headsets are the answer to experiencing the world in a new way

A few years back it would be fair to say that many people avoided the idea of using Virtual Reality systems because there was hostility to the idea of choosing VR over ‘real life’ experiences. However, as it has developed and more and more people are beginning to use VR within several industries, there has been more curiosity about how far VR can go in providing a fulfilling experience. I mean, can it?

Many people would still argue that it will never be able to provide anything close to the sensation you experience when you’re in the real location but it can improve certain things at least. Some applications have been created, Google Expeditions for example, that are designed for students to be “immersed under the water and into imaginary space suits to experience life as explorers and astronauts”. It’s a fantastic way of educating students on what it takes to actually be in those situations, what to expect and how to go about things. Students, for the first time, are able to see impossible to reach corners of the earth through just one headset. This application is already being used by approximately one million children in the UK and schools love it.

Some of the benefits of this are of course the low-cost. The headsets are cardboard and the app on smartphones cost only $15.00 meaning the experience is affordable to many.  Totem Learning have created similar experiences using VR headsets, an underwater experience as well as an island activity where you have to travel around it and collect points at once you reach a target. This helps you get familiar with headsets, opening up a world of possibility. We brought our VR headset along to the National Enterprise Challenge and the feedback from the students was brilliant. They all loved trying it out and finding out what they can see and do with it.

The idea behind using VR headsets for educational purposes proves to be a good one. Students are asking more analytical questions, retaining information better and discovering a potential passion.  Lots of geographical issues can be incorporated and emphasised within these games so that children can see (almost first-hand) what damage we are doing to the environment which will hopefully make them more aware of their own habits. It’s a global trend at the moment and countries all enthusiastic to see what will come of it.

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