The element of interaction is of utmost importance to make the user really feel free to get involved with the virtual environment. According to Andrew Connell, CTO of Virtalis, we trap learners behind the computer screen now, so they can only touch with a mouse. “But we want people to become immersed in their 3D model; to reach in with their hands and really dig about inside a product to explore, learn about, and improve it, while also communicating with others in the organization about those products.” Virtual Medical Coaching offers that. Users are able to access and experience, in real-time, an interactive and immersive VR environment created from 3D datasets. If they want to touch the patient they reach out and do so; if they want to adjust some machinery they turn the controls with their hands. All of this, of course, in a virtual world.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that close to half the students who study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects end up dropping those subjects at undergraduate level, and one of the common complaints about STEM education is it relies too heavily on theory and doesn’t provide hands-on experiences to students. Virtual learning through a VR system opens up a new window of opportunity for STEM education, difficult and often mundane content is presented in a new and exciting way.
For universities, it really improves student uptake when they see they’re going to be using the newest technology. Students pay for their qualification, they’re customers. They ask themselves, ‘Am I going to be learning with the latest technologies, and am I going to be ready for the 21st-century workplace?’ They’re looking for universities to go beyond classroom teaching.