VR and AR, changing the way we learn


Dan Flatt, showing off a pair of Microsoft Hololens at Niagara College on April 5, 2017

Alan Smithson, CEO of MetaVRse, paid a visit to Niagara College, Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus to give a futuristic talk about virtual reality and augmented reality, and how he believes it will improve and change the way people see things in the next few years.

Smithson, along with some of this co-workers from MetaVRse, came to the NOTL campus on April 5, and they brought along some of latest technology in VR and AR. They had it all set up and let any student who was interested come and try it out.

The students got to jump into Google World, and go to any place they wanted to with the VR tech. Most students decided to ‘go home’ but some chose other spots around the world to check out. They were able to ‘walk around’ city streets and see things from a new perspective.

After the first demo was done Smithson gave a presentation on the ways the technology has changed over the years, from the first Stereoscopic Microscope in 1838 to the launch of Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Sony PlayStation and Google Daydream in 2016.

Students from both campuses from  different programs like business, web development and graphic design, attended the presentation to find out what new technology was coming out and how they would be able to incorporate it into their chosen field.

“It’s interesting to see their projected growth rate over the next few years, how we don’t even have a platform but we have all these tools, and how developers like myself can take these principles and apply to these VR devices,” said Ryan Morris, web development.

Smithson talked about the progress that companies like Microsoft and Apple have made during the past few years. He also spoke about projected numbers and growth for 2018 when he said it has been predicted that there will be an estimated 171 million active VR users. Smithson also talked about their long-term goals like the estimated value of VR/AR technology will be 1.3 trillion by the year 2035.

“All this new technology could really change the way students learn. Construction students could build entire buildings, dental students could perform cleanings with augmented reality, and it could all be laid out in front of them. There are so many possibilities that could help students be better trained before even going to work,” said Dan Flatt, MetaVRse.

“I personally don’t use this technology yet because I am into web development but you never know, the web could be pulled into being more VR, and the principals still stand the same. As I progress in my career there is a good chance I could end up in VR in like five years, but the more I know about it now on the ground floor, could help me more in the future,” said Morris.




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