By Paul Silli
Who said the Holodeck in the Star Trek series was just science fiction? Not Me! Below is the link to a trendy story about an invention called: VirtuSphere. Virtual Reality technology is not science fiction anymore folks. Not only does this real technology allow users the chance to move around in any direction while interacting with an artificial environment, but also offers a new opportunity for learning; and all without a mouse, keyboard, or teacher…
The user enters the sphere as shown in the picture, with a head mounted display, which permits virtual vision in any direction. As the user moves, the sensors under the sphere transmit information about the users speed and direction to the computer. The user looks at the head mounted display and sees a virtual three dimensional space which is generated by the computer in response to his-or-her movements. The user can interact with objects in virtual space with the help of a special manipulator. For the full story visit: http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=462
Nah! Awesome technology though, but real flesh-and-blood teachers aren’t going anywhere soon.😉 However, this invention offers impressive ways to teach. Think of all the possibilities. For example, if you wanted to teach about the subject of Ancient Egypt, with this device, you could send your students into an artificial Egyptian environment where they actively “see” what it looked like during that era. Instead of using ole’ PowerPoint illustrations in class, you could have your students see, hear, and feel (if you will), as though they had traveled back in time. The user interface would make any lesson interactive, and role playing would be easy to create with the computer artificial environment. Wow! What a way to teach. We educators often talk about making our lessons come alive. With this device, it could literally be true.
One challenge though, is they need to design the VirtuSphere a lot larger. For class use, there would have to be a way all students could see the images at the same time, rather than just one member. Oh yeah, and lets not forget about costs. You have to consider costs when you are talking about improving education. Darn it! This device is expen$ive.
The VirtuSphere is great for teaching combat techniques to soldiers or even improving flight assimilations for pilots. I think this invention will bring new opportunities in the future. I mean, think about it. Who would of thought when they were making episodes in the 1960’s for Star Trek, the hand-held communication device Captain Kirk used to call and see his crew, would be an actual item we use today with cell phones. Maybe with some tweaking, this technology could help the greater good. Don’t ya think?