Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab is developing a number of impressive virtual reality environments. From the looks of the lab’s work, some pretty realistic experiences are being created. I wish this kind of technology could be used to develop immersive learning experiences for students outside of the university setting. Imagine elementary, middle, and high school age learners experiencing a virtual visit to ancient Çatalhöyük, Egypt, Greece, and Rome or making a microscopic journey through the circulatory system.
A side note: As host Sumi Das toured the lab in the SmartPlanet video shown below, I noticed that an Xbox 360 Kinect sensor was part of the equipment that Prof. Bailenson and his crew are using. This makes wonder of if, after a number of iterations, this kind of technology can be made more accessible to others by way of off-the-shelf components.
- As mentioned in the Smart Planet video above, the University of Washington Seattle and U.W. Harborview Burn Center is doing some encouraging work with virtual reality pain reduction.
- The KeckCAVES at UC Davis is working on software designed to interact with three-dimensional data in real-time.
- The Virtual Reality Education Pathfinder (VREP) is an educational initiative and partnership between government, education, and industry that is committed to bringing a new kind of learning and teaching to schools across the country.