By Chris Palermo
AR and VR – What are They?
I’m sure by now you have heard of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), currently two of the trendiest topics in the tech world. Between VR headsets such as Oculus and PlayStation VR to AR games such as Pokemon GO, virtual and augmented reality are everywhere! But what exactly are they and how are they different? Let’s ask Google and see!
Virtual Reality: the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.
Augmented Reality: a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.
Great… So what does this really mean? In more simple terms, virtual reality immerses the user in any environment where they may experience it in a first-person view. You put on a VR headset and boom! You are a surgeon in an operating room, a treasure hunter raiding the tombs of ancient Egyptian pyramids, a bird flying over New York City and through its massive skyscrapers, and many more!
Augmented reality, on the other hand, currently allows users to interact with their environment in new ways with a camera on modern devices. Wonder what a new couch would look like in your living room? Try an app such as Houzz: choose a couch, open your camera, place the new object on the screen and see what it looks like in your own house! Want to catch Pokemon in your actual backyard? Check out Pokemon GO where you can see a Pokemon right on your back porch and throw Pokeballs at it until it is caught!
Explore! and Augmented Reality
Our modern-day education system is full of textbooks, worksheets, and educational videos, but what if a student is a tactile learner? What if a student needs to physically touch items and experiment with them to learn effectively? This is where the Explore! Platform fits in education. The Explore! Platform utilizes augmented reality to allow students and learners of all backgrounds to physically touch and experiment with the educational content in front of them.
When a student points their device at the signature Explore! Cards, the appropriate item will magically appear on the screen. Let’s say a student places a Battery Card and a Light Bulb Card in front of the camera, a battery and light bulb will appear on the screen. From here, the student will be able to experiment with the items on the screen, and when she or he properly connects the circuit, the light bulb will turn on!
Not only does the Explore! Platform engage students in a new, interactive and experimental way, it is cheaper and more convenient for parents and teachers. In the past, one would have to physically go out and buy these individual items, set them up for the student, and clean up afterward. This is no longer the case; with the Explore! Platform, you no longer have to go and buy the individual items, set them up, or clean them up. It’s essentially a pocket-sized experiment kit that is ready to go whenever and wherever needed!
With a BIG surprise coming in October, subscribe to our email list or follow us on social to receive more information. Find out how you and your child or student can utilize augmented reality and Explore! for a more fun, engaging learning experience!