What is the Metaverse?
The buzzword “Metaverse” was probably first coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his novel “Snow Crash”, where he described a fully realized digital world that exists beyond the analog one in which we live. Today, Metaverse refers to a variety of virtual experiences, environments and assets. Over the next few years, as various hardware and software technologies mature, we will see Metaverse emerge as different products, services and capabilities integrate and meld together.
Having used the term Metaverse ahead of giants such as Facebook and Nvidia, St. Uriel Education does not agree with their definitions that the Metaverse will be purely virtual experiences. We believe the Metaverse is essentially a merging of virtual, augmented, and physical reality, and blurs the line between your interactions online and in real life. These interactions could be social, work or commercial in nature. Hence, we endeavor to enable students to experience knowledge bounded only by imagination, and teaching them to guard against being manipulated by new perspectives of the world, both real and virtual.
What is eXtended Reality (XR)?
While time travel is still not possible, eXtended Reality XR (an over-compassing term that includes VR, AR and MR) can immerse us in realistic versions of the past, the future and take us to different worlds when we put on an enveloping headset. These technologies have already started to revolutionize how we experience, understand and interact with the world around us. At the same time, they give us the opportunity to experience an infinite number of worlds bounded only by imagination.
What is VR, AR, MR?
Virtual reality (VR) is a rich, multisensorial, 3-dimensional. 360-degree fully artificial digital environment in which students can immerse themselves and interact with. It is a realistic version of a known environment or an imaginary one.
You need to wear a special VR headset to experience immersive virtual reality. Most VR headsets are connected to a computer (eg. Pimax, Oculus Rift) or a gaming console (PlayStation VR) but there are standalone devices (eg. Pimax, Google Cardboard) as well. Most standalone VR headsets work in combination with smartphones – you insert a smartphone, wear a headset, and immerse in the virtual reality.
Have you ever noticed a small cardboard icon when watching videos on YouTube? It enables the 360-degree mode that means you can wear a VR headset and experiences fully immersive videos. 360-degree videos are considered a form of VR.
Augmented reality (AR) overlays virtual objects (sound, video, or graphics) on the real-world environment (user’s physical surroundings). Unlike VR where you are bringing the user into a digital world, AR is used to bring digital information into the real world.
Mixed reality (MR) not just overlays but anchors virtual objects to the real world. Virtual objects are not just overlaid on the real world but can interact with it.
Growth in VR Industry
What is the benefit of using VR?
- Cut Costs: VR allows saving on expensive equipment, logistics and additional by recreating objects, locations and scenarios in virtual space.
- Save Time: VR speeds up staff training and education processes and saves time on travel by recreating any object and scenario.
- More Efficient: VR boasts unprecedented immersion and eliminates most risks associated with training.
There are many VR applications in business that will save costs, and generate more profit from new revenue streams, and productivity improvements.
Using VR: for Education
How does VR play a part in Education?
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This quote perfectly sums up the relationship between VR and education. Virtual reality makes a learning experience more engaging, which helps students learn faster and develop more practical skills. At the same time, VR makes it possible to dive into complex topics like robotics that would not be accessible to students otherwise due to high costs.
Using VR In The Classroom
- VR provides outstanding visualizations that aren’t possible in the traditional classroom. The traditional teaching methods can never reach such an effective way of emphasizing things through visualizations.
- Creating interest. No matter what age they have, students will always love to sit and watch something instead of reading it. The VR technology is quite interesting, as it can create amazing experiences that could never be “lived” in the real life. Students will definitely feel more motivated to learn with the use of this technology.
- Increases student engagement. Nowadays, teachers find it real hard to create a productive engagement within the class. With VR present in the education, this aspect will forever disappear, as most of the students will feel tempted to talk about their experiences within their virtual reality.
- Doesn’t look like work. If we can make education fun, kids will love to learn more stuff and be more ambitious. When we enjoy doing something, we will do it with more interest, we’ll do it better, and we won’t feel like we’re doing something painful.
- Improves the quality of education in different fields. Take medicine for example. In 2016, innovative doctors are taking advantage of the VR technology in order to explore new aspects of medicine and teach others better.
- Eliminates language barrier. The language barrier is often a big problem when it comes to education. If you want to study in a different country, you must understand and speak the language. With VR, every possible language can be implemented within the software. Therefore, language will no longer represent a barrier for student’s education plans.
- Compassionate communication. Immersive 3D visuals allow us to convey how we feel to a loved one (not just saying how we feel). This allows students to learn empathy and for educators to help create a better, more compassionate society.
- St. Uriel Education understands the challenges of using XR, and the impact on ethical permissibility, We seek to teach students how to safeguard themselves with regards to privacy, the effects of stimuli and sensory deprivation, and socialization.
VR for Gen Z Education
Gen Z’s learning traits:
- Self-serve learners
- Visually oriented generation
- They want to convert skills in cash, while millennials prioritize culture over money
- But, Gen Z lacks soft-skills like collaboration, time management and problem-solving skills
Collaborative VR tools
Example: Helping remote students feel more connected and less isolated
Tools for real-world learning
Example: Experience online tours to remote locations, or even non-existing areas
Example: Lab works in chemistry, physics, medicine and soft skills
VR as discipline
Example: Varwin course for kids and college students
Using VR: for Business (Healthcare)
Challenges of the medicine of the future:
- Ageing population: we live longer and it is the main challenge for modern medicine.
- Digital medicine is the only way to serve the growing demand.
- There will be larger population of people with mental diseases.
Problem: Lack of skilled healthcare professionals who are capable of working with hi-end equipment and software.
Solution: VR can alleviate many of these challenges as we shall demonstrate with a few examples below.
Examples of VR applications in Healthcare:
- Rehabilitation and exposure therapy (Example: Neuro-rehab after stroke)
- Doctors training (Example: Surgery training)
- Pain management (Example: Cedars Sinai lab for pain management)
- Visualizations (Example: Visual analysis of 3D CT and MRI content)
Virtual Reality is used to train & support healthcare professionals, change lives and heal patients
- Medical Training: Virtual Reality can transport you inside the human body – to access & view areas that otherwise would be impossible to reach.
- Pain Management: A study by the University of Washington Seattle and the UW Harborview Burn Centre showed that full VR immersion for those undergoing physical therapy after a skin graft acted as a distraction and subsequently reduced pain levels for the patients.
- Rehabilitation: VR has also been shown to be effective in speeding up recovery time. Allowing the patient to do their prescribed daily exercises in a virtual environment makes the activity more fun, keeps the patient focused, and helps them keep their spirits up during what can be a long recovery period.
- Mental Health & Psychological Therapy: VR’s unique ability to transport you somewhere else can be used to create powerful simulations of the scenarios in which psychological difficulties occur. Situations that are impractical or impossible to recreate — flying, for example, can be conjured at the click of a mouse. The in-situ coaching can now be delivered in the consulting room, with the simulations graded in difficulty and repeated as often as necessary.
- Preventative Medicine: Virtual reality is used to educate patients about positive lifestyle choices, such as stopping smoking, moderate alcohol intake, healthy eating and exercise. There is an emphasis on educating people to make positive changes about their health which will reduce the risk of illnesses, many of which are preventative.
Using VR: for Business (Logistics)
Virtual Reality is used to reduce injuries and equipment breakdowns by 20-40% and optimize training expenses.
1. Warehouse Safety Training in VR
When hiring a new employee, the company may need to train them to work on specific equipment or explain the actions in typical situations. A mentor or a teacher are usually allocated for such training. Normally this is another employee who gets distracted from their core responsibilities.
- We simulate the necessary equipment and / or situations
- We create instructions and practical exercises
- We add a built-in algorithm for assessing completed tasks
- Now the new employees takes a full-fledged training course by themselves and receives an assessment of the result
2. Dangerous Environment
In a classroom it is impossible to recreate dangerous emergency situations: fire, explosion, roof collapse, fire in a warehouse, etc. Training takes place with the help of manuals and videos. Lack of training in realistic conditions reduces the quality of acquired skills.
- Reproduce emergency situations in VR
- Trainees can act in tandem with the bot
- The employees receive an immersing training of handling emergency situations in realistic conditions
Using VR: for Business (Retail)
Using VR: for Business (Business Training)
1. Realistic specialist technical support and repair manuals
Manufacturers of dimensional equipment may encounter difficulties in technical support. Companies need to send specialists, even in the case of simple breakdowns, while the equipment is located in remote areas.
- We will reproduce the location and the equipment in virtual reality.
- Company can license VR trained specialists to repair its equipment or use the training to improve and perfect the skills of its in-house technicians.
- With Varwin, companies can update the training without future involvement of VR developers
2. Now you can train specialists remotely, anywhere in the world
When training employees, you may need to teach them skills in working with equipment located in a remote location. This necessity entails logistics costs.
We will reproduce the location and the equipment in virtual reality.
3. Now you can train employees in an immersive environment with same weather conditions they face in real life
When making training for employees, it may be necessary to practice actions in difficult weather conditions: for example, inspecting a ship in a snowstorm. In the office, these conditions cannot be reproduced.
- We reproduce the required weather conditions in virtual reality
- We will create training instructions and practical tasks considering weather conditions
Using VR: for Business (recruitment)
Now you can test the skills of the candidate right on the interview
HR employees are not always able to test the practical skills of candidates: for example, working with the equipment or handling emergency situations.
- We will create test tasks in virtual reality (how to disassemble and repair equipment, put out the fire or how to find violations)
- We will integrate the knowledge verification algorithm