Allright, in the first episode of the VR Museum Talks you met Lifeliqe CEO Ondrej Homola and Upload CEO Taylor Freeman and heard them talking VR in education and it’s future. In the new episode the two visionaries touch on artificial intelligence, get more into AR and VR and they also talk the age limitations of these technologies. Watch where they think this is actually going in the second episode of VR Museum Talks!
I would really want to hear what’s your age range. You know the only range we have now is based on the fact that we really don’t know what VR does to your eyes and what it does to your brain developmentally. Personally, I’m a really firm believer that in terms of what it does to you brain is that they would be really accelerated in the ability to learn and in terms of the eyes, there are questions about age. So how do you think about age, how do you think about putting all of these concepts in front of the kids?
I think there are two different sides to it. One of them is the clinical side, where there will be hours and hours of different testing needed before we know what’s going on and when I spoke to different hardware OEM’s, they are definitely on it. And what we can do is to just adjust what is possible out there, for us it’s a no-brainer.
For me, from the day one when you are born to this planet, you absorb information in interactive 3D way. So the way we are learning, we are learning in this space. I’ve been thinking today how amazing it is that we’ve been able to develop all off the 2D communication in our society. And even though we know that we are living in this world and things are happening right here, then we developed the concept of book, where we just took the 3D objects and we just transformed then into 2D. And that’s been our bread and butter of our learning for the last ten thousand years.
We are now trying to solve the problem of typing in VR and it’s so annoying. I think that conceptually people are ok with learning through VR, and our user testing with our employees kids are really showing us the kids around age of 6 are really getting the VR. But again, it’s more thing of policymakers and clinical test to understand if the kids will be allowed to use it in this scale.
We see that AR and VR are the biggest things in the tech as for now. What do you see as the sweet spot for VR and the sweet spot for AR in terms of learning and education?
Let’s start with VR. I think that the inherent value of VR is that you can actually transport yourself somewhere else. So when you’re learning about the ruins, you’re learning about pyramids, you’re learning about these places. I think that’s one of the key areas that the VR will have a lot of power. I also think that when you’re trying to demonstrate scale, when you’re inside of cell or in space, that’s where the VR is extremely powerful. Because it gives you the perspective, especially where you are able to zoom in like in one of your demos and the perspective is changing.
When you’re thinking about the AR, I think that in the traditional classroom setting, it makes more sense to be actually present in the classroom. So in this setting, I can imagine a lesson let’s say when dissecting a frog. When you’re in 8th grade you’re dissecting a frog and instead of having an actual frog cadavers you have virtual frog cadaver and the teacher is there and they can actually see, they’re all there, working collaboratively but at the same time everyone doing their thing. I think that’s definitely an area where there will be a split.
And I think that the whole future of education is up in the air now because of immersive technology. You see the classroom is incredibly inefficient. You have this scale here where one of the students understands them at 1 and the other understands them fully and there’s only one teacher, maybe one TA and trying to adress them all, maybe to help them. And I think that system with AI, technology and individualised learning is going to shift and students will have the possibility to learn on their own trajectory. I think both VR ad AR will be very important, but who knows where it’s gonna land in 10, 20 years from now? I don’t know if the traditional classroom will make sense any more. There will be some way to build social interaction skills and that side of intelligence, the social intelligence. But it is far more effective to learn individualised.
How do you think about the importance of artificial intelligence and AR and VR converging?
Frankly, I was never thinking too much about AI in education. As I said, education for me is the K-12 education, that’s really our sweet spot. And the reason for it is that we believe that only way how to bring any impact into the education is through the teachers. Currently, they have all of the right insights, all the experience to bring the right things to their kids. The very question is if technology can really help them. It’s not necessarily only about the VR and AR, it’s generally speaking about figuring out if there are the right tools for them, because the usual problem with all the edtech is that everybody who went through the K-12 ecosystem thinks that he/she understands education because he/she went through it. The problem is that that’s not really what usually fits teacher needs and what solves their pains.
I think it’s a bit early for K-12 and artificial intelligence. I’m still a bigger believer in AR than in VR. As I still recall the scene from The Matrix, where Trinity was just asking to get the Helicopter uploaded in her brain.
What can really AR do for you is that it brings the information on-route. Because I believe that the brain can process the visual information significantly more effective than written information therefore I don’t really think that AR can be that important in terms of the learning process itself, but I think it can be an outstanding tool to provide us with information. But I think that VR can have much bigger power to bring together the immersion you just described. But it’s all about the emotions, because then you’re just using completely different parts of the brain compared to traditional concept of textbook and me really trying to memorize all of the stuff there. Because you’re doing more of project-based learning, you’re inside of the thing, you’re doing something with it.
What I recall from my schooldays, the best way of learning is if you can play around with a thing or even if you can just break it. And that why I think VR can be so powerful in the space of K-12 education.
Taylor: I think to your point VR being similar to the Black Hawk experience. It definitely does supplement for things that require standard operating procedures that doesn’t require muscle memory like learning kung-fu or whatever they learn, that would be something that you would have to inherently learn still. Unless you could somehow implant muscle memory.
Yeah, somebody figure out how to do that, that’d be great.