Virtual Reality, in simplest of terms, is creating simulated 3D environments with the application of computer technology. A virtual reality or VR user will experience a world beyond just viewing a screen. She or he would be placed within an immersive 3 dimensional simulation of an environment wherein she or he can interact with not just the environment but also its constituent components. Even though the technology has been around for a while now, it is only in the past decade that it has become affordable and now simpler for the common user to access and enjoy. It has opened up vast avenues of possibilities in almost every conceivable field- science, medicine, engineering, design, defence, gaming, entertainment, education etc.
During these challenging times of the global pandemic- VR technology can provide a wide range of solution for the education sector, especially in the fields which require a high degree of interaction. VR can exponentially enhance the experience and the learning quotients of online meetings, conference, mentoring online classes, etc. There are many online classes application for PC and Mobile platform like Zoom, Google classroom, etc. Similarly, there are many applications for VR platforms too. One of the best applications for VR platform is Rumii.
“Rumii brings efficiency to the education and training and re-engages people in immersive and social environments that leverage our natural human desires for socialization and achievement, reducing the leader-learner paradigm to an average of 8 meaningful hours of intentional interaction. Imagine that – an entire complex concept taught in an average or eight hours.”
– Doghead Simulation
The best thing about Rumii it is available for PC and Mobile as well as for major VR headsets like Oculus, Vive, WMR etc. Rumii provides immersive experience. To use Rumii one needs a VR supported mobile phone and simple Google Cardboard. Once a classroom environment has been adapted to Rumii it enables the students and instructors to share the same virtual space despite being physically distant. It also provides tools to build realistic environments and classrooms. With the help of avatar customization tool, users can capture their personality, exercise their sense of individuality, and create their true self. With help of Rumii shared asset logic makes it faster for teams to share and collaborate on the images, videos, 3D objects, etc. instead of wasting time searching through files.
This pandemic has thrown many unforeseen challenges upon the education sector. But as design educators, we could be the forerunners of embracing these challenges and adopting newer and emergent modalities of content delivery. It is an opportunity for us all to redefine how education is imparted as well as absorbed.
Sundar Mahalingam, Assistant Professor AMG and VC, School of Communication Design, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)
Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.