Meetup Event: Let’s experiment together in the Metaverse.
A German expert walked us through an entire evening in Berlin at the Abstract-Technology office, in the world of AR/VR technology. With VR headsets and AR glasses we have experienced all together the immersive virtual world.
On February 17, 2023, we hosted a Meetup at our Berlin offices for people interested in VR and AR. Among the participants was also students who had already participated in the ITONBOARD project, we explored the following two aspects:
- How we can imagine learning and studying using the metaverse
- What study to undertake to become a developer of technology AR/VR
But first, why are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) so significant?
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies have the potential to significantly impact the future of learning, as they offer immersive and interactive experiences that can enhance traditional educational methods.
We wanted to know, how AR and VR could impact the future of learning:
- Enhanced visualization: AR and VR can provide learners with a more immersive and interactive way to visualize complex concepts, making it easier to understand and retain information.
- Personalized learning: AR and VR can create customized learning experiences based on individual learning styles and preferences, allowing learners to engage with material in a way that best suits them.
- Real-world simulations: AR and VR can simulate real-world scenarios, allowing learners to practice and apply their knowledge in a safe, controlled environment.
- Collaborative learning: AR and VR can facilitate collaborative learning experiences by allowing learners to connect and interact with others in virtual environments.
- Accessible education: AR and VR can increase access to education by providing virtual classrooms and digital learning materials, eliminating the need for physical classrooms and textbooks.
Overall, AR and VR have the potential to revolutionize the way we learn and teach, creating more engaging, personalized, and effective educational experiences.
What was our experience of the evening? What did we learn?
In fact, we first learned that nowadays we are moving from AR/VR to Mixed Reality (MR) or eXtended Reality (XR). Today we are facing the Mixed Reality or XR, indeed augmented reality and virtual reality experiences available today represent a small subset of the larger mixed reality spectrum. A kind of merging of a real-world environment and a computer-generated one.
Thanks to the organizers and our contact person, we had numerous tools at our disposal, all to be tested calmly and carefully. Certainly also with a lot of fun on the part of all participants.
We tested for example a Hand Physics Lab with Oculus Meta Quests 2 or Beat Saber, a music and rhythm-based video game where the objective is to use handheld controllers to "slash" through virtual reality boxes. We were also able to experience HoloLens, a headset with transparent lenses for an augmented reality experience.
HoloLens allowed us to experience 3D holographic images as though we were a part of the own environment. We learned that AR/VR glasses can be used to teach young people about various scientific and technological concepts, such as physics, chemistry, and biology, in an interactive and engaging way. For Art, architecture or Design AR/VR glasses can be used to understand different art and design concepts, such as color theory, composition, and perspective, and allow us to create and paint our own artwork. Many participants said they were much more creative than in front of a canvas or a blank sheet of paper.
The opportunity to span an entire evening between virtual gaming and virtual teaching also opened up new perspectives for the young people present on how these technologies can be used. We have tested software that made us understand how AR/VR technology can be used to provide workers with real-time instructions and guidance, reducing errors and improving quality control. The more immersive and interactive way has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and safety for workers in various industries like manufacturing, construction, healthcare, or logistic.
The world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool is “Unreal Engine” from Epic Games. Unreal Engine is written in C++ entirely and these are the skills requests for an Unreal Engine Developer:
- As a Minimum a Bachelor in Computer Science or Physics or Math or similar
- Strong C++ knowledge, good programming experience
- A combination between design and coding. Our expert of the evening in Abstract has a design studio behind him, some development in frontend and then a study in computer science. So you need the capacity to translate design or creative intentions into technical solutions.
Overall, we believe that AR/VR/MR/XR have a lot of potential for learning and education, but it is important to approach their use thoughtfully and strategically. Educators and instructional designers should carefully consider the educational goals and objectives of their programs and ensure that Mixed Reality is being used in a way that supports those goals.