By now you’ve probably seen the hype surrounding the Oculus Rift, but you probably haven’t heard about the many other innovative devices available that can improve learning by improving the quality of your learning.
The VR headsets we’ve seen so far are all designed to help with learning via a computer or tablet, but with the latest iteration of the Oculus headset, it’s becoming possible to use the headset in an entirely different way.
The Oculus Rift uses a 3D positional tracking system to provide positional guidance and a headset with adjustable visor, and the Oculus Touch controllers allow for simultaneous hand and head tracking.
To learn more about the latest Oculus Rift technology, I recently spoke with Jeff Kaptchuk, director of engineering for the Oculus VR team, about how he came up with the idea for this device, what it can do for learning, and what we can expect from the Oculus Series 2 headset.
Jeff Kaptchis head of engineering: We had a lot of ideas, but we had never built a 3d positional tracking device.
There’s always a big debate as to what that means for the human brain.
For instance, if we could put sensors into the skull that would help us understand what the brain is doing when it’s thinking about a task.
Or if we can have a sensor that is attached to a computer, like a gyroscope, that would let us know what the computer is doing.
But for now, we were just thinking about what we could do with this type of sensor.
So we thought that we could use this sensor and some of the sensors we already have in our headsets, and combine them to create a more robust and precise learning environment.
So the first thing that we did was to build a tracking device that’s flexible and lightweight.
So it’s not really a tracking sensor that has to be attached to the head.
It can be attached anywhere on the body.
We also wanted to build the system in a way that could be used for a range of different educational applications.
So, in the future, we could have different applications that might be different from just learning how to read.
So for example, we’ve done a few different educational apps where we can use this technology for teaching kids about math, science, and more.
We have a lot more ideas for how we could be using this technology, but it’s really just an education device that can be used in different ways.
So you’ve already had a look at the Oculus Tracker.
What other features do you want to see added?
Jeff Kontchuk: So we’re building a bunch of additional capabilities that we think will be really helpful for people who are new to VR, or who are interested in VR education.
We’ve built the VR Tracker into the Oculus SDK.
It’s a headset that’s used to monitor and track your movement, so we have this ability to track your position on the screen.
So, if you’re looking at a screen and you’re in VR, you can actually track your head position.
And that means that you can learn from that screen position.
We’re also developing a way for people to see a virtual object on the Oculus platform.
So if you look at an object in the Oculus world, you’ll see it in the headset.
You can look around, and you can point your cursor at it.
So that’s a really powerful thing.
We’ll be releasing a new app that will let you look around in VR with a different object that you want.
We just announced this with our first app, called My VR Experience, which lets you look through a 360-degree virtual environment and look around with different objects.
And then later, we’re releasing an app called “Oculus VR Story,” which is a collection of video clips that you’ll be able to use in VR learning.
Jeff: And the next big thing that you’re going to see in the next couple of years is this type known as “Olympic mode,” which lets people interact with virtual objects in a more interactive way.
We can now bring virtual objects into the virtual world.
So instead of just sitting there in front of a screen, you’re actually able to look around and interact with objects, and that’s really exciting.
I think this is really the future of VR education and learning.
And you’ll hear more about it in our upcoming Developer Diary.
Jeff and I will be talking more about Oculus Rift headsets in a future article, but in the meantime, we wanted to give you a little peek into the future and talk about how you can get involved in VR by helping design educational devices.
To see the rest of our interviews with Oculus team members, please visit Engadgits Education.