All 52 students in Contemporary Computing Concepts have met with our interns and experienced a half-hour of Virtual Reality with the HTC VIVE!

Students expressed universally positive sentiments about this as a learning experience; one student said “Experiencing VR helped give me a better understanding of VR & UX technologies. It was cool to actually have an immersive experience rather than just using my phone.” It also helped students understand how advanced contemporary VR can be. One student noted that of tying out the VIVE, “This completely changed my understanding of VR. Previously, I thought of VR as some sort of gimmick. Experiencing it first hand has made me realize that this technology is extremely impressive.”

The students even hypothesized about some possible uses of VR:

– “I forsee using this tech in a class setting to gain better understanding of molecular structures commonly seen in bio or chem.”
– “Yes, to learn how to do things on the job before actually doing it (for example doing a practice surgery).”
– “Kids learning about the ocean could take a ‘trip’ to the ocean and businesses could see what their product would look like before creating it.”
– “In the future it could be used to hold meetings between people far away.”

Our VIVE saw 10 hours of use for this course this week, bringing it to 31 hours total for this assignment. We had a hiccup mid-week when the system stopped functioning for an unknown reason; it turned out that it needed a firmware update, which we were able to do the next day. After seeing our system get this much use, we’re hoping to move towards a model where the sensors are mounted on the walls, instead of mounting the sensors on tripods with interns setting them up and taking them down each time.