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Stanfort University offers course entirely in VR (Quest)

Zenbane
Level 15

I love seeing VR being put to some real world usage. Since its mainstream launch in 2016, a bulk of VR's news has been about video games. And while I love gaming (heck, I grew up with it), it is also important for a technological platform to mature. 

 

And it looks like VR is slowly but surely doing just that.

 

The Oculus Meta Quest will be the primary headset used in the first large-scale VR Course taught at a University:

 

https://news.stanford.edu/2021/11/05/new-class-among-first-taught-entirely-virtual-reality/

 

“In Virtual People, the students don’t just get to try VR a handful of times. VR becomes the medium they rely on,” said Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL). “To the best of my knowledge, nobody has networked hundreds of students via VR headsets for months at a time in the history of virtual reality, or even in the history of teaching. It’s VR at an incredible scale.”

9 REPLIES 9

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

That's interesting, I'd liked to have known a little more about the software they're using and the content of the lessons. It gets a mention but as with a lot of news articles, VR is the focus of the story as much, if not more, than what they're doing with VR.

 

I suppose it's going to be a while before the general public catch up and it's no longer a big deal, and they look past the technological novelty of it and go into it in a little more depth. Having said that, the more stories about VR, the more normal it's going to become.

 

I was going to post about another use case a couple weeks back....

Parents being given the chance to visualise the results of surgery to enable them to make informed decisions about whether it should take place.

Untitled-1.jpg

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-59373963 

 

I think there are some forward thinking people out there able to see the possibilities of VR/AR and making it happen. Not sure if this particular application started as an idea from a software developer or from the surgeons but good stuff either way.

 

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Zenbane
Level 15

Interesting imagery with people wearing a VR HMD and a facemask simultaneously. Granted, I am all in favor of wearing masks in public these days, but it seems that a VR HMD is the perfect way to help with social distancing. So sitting in a room with strangers while wearing both seems a bit counter-intuitive. They could have been put in separate rooms, buildings, etc. But hey, baby steps!

 

I completely agree with you that VR is still viewed as a novelty. It reminds me of the days in the early 1990s when I was in school, and when I saw the 1 or 2 other kids that actually owned a cell phone (which was absolutely giant in size), I would think, "wow, they have a lot of money."

 

Now I replace family cellphones annually lol

 

Hopefully it won't take VR Headsets the same length of time as it took cellphones to move from novelty to every day household necessity 😊

Or may be we could have some air filters inside hmd so it will add some protection from viruses combined with a plastic mask and air fan? :))

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

I assumed they were members of the same family taking part in a consultation but yeah, you'd kind of think that would mean 2 parents... maybe one was the doctor and theyre at an early stage of the software trials and the need to be in the same space as a server or something? or perhaps they need a tech guy present during trials of the software. Could be taking place in the dev's studio come to think of it... what with a photographer being there!

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Nekto2
Level 9

> ...VR is the focus of the story as much, if not more, than what they're doing with VR.

 

Yea I think it'll change. Same was with "computers in educations" and "online education" some time ago. Now computers and the Internet are tools.

 

Same will be with Metaverse, I hope. It could become "just another tool".

I think we will get replicas of current education style first (same, but in VR). But next it could evolve to something new. Instead of old style "live talk with a teacher" we could have pre-recorded lessons with interactive part and quizzes linked to each other (so you knew which of them you need to learn first and could select where to go after that). You could select a lesson style or a version/teacher for each. So it could support personalized education. And if you'll want a job you could know exactly which of lessons to learn (even if there a hundreds of them in a list) and the order in which to do it efficiently. And you could see your current employees "education tree" to see which lessons are needed for new employees (they could pass same quizzes if they have had old style education).

 

Those individual lessons could be owned by their creators/teachers same way we could have ownership in Metaverse for art content (same NFTs or licenses for access). But we need some software addition to hide correct answers in quizzes before it would be passed (or blockchain record for every quizz pass both successful and not).

 

We will need new specialized file formats for different uses. They could be optimized for a task and have as little functions as needed to solve a task. Less functions means it needs less time to create and support in the future, less bugs. And it need to be a separate file. We have NFTs for images because they could be stored as a single separate file. Same single file formats could be for "post", "comment", "article", "education chapter", "math lesson", "physics lesson", "chemistry lesson", "math quiz" ..... etc. And if it is a file (not some record in a other's db) you could own it and use as you like (download/upload/cut/make a derivative work/make edit, enhance or fix/etc). Ownership is not "fact" only, but a list of possible uses. There could be inheritance of file formats so "math lesson" could be one of "education lessons". And every could have additional data on topic/subject/author/style.... to auto select them.

 

We could have "container" file formats to keep several files in the same file. If could be "text article with images, audio and 3d objects".

 

And those files could have their own owners/authors. You could "link" files you need for your lesson/art/media or just include them inside. But then student/user/viewer should pay for those files she have not "own" (a copy) or have not license to show/play (server online check). Or choose "do not show that part/sub file" if do not want to. NFT ownership is for "token", so we could have same file but with a different token to have copies and their distinct owners. We could have "alternative files/content" to include cheap/free versions of music/video/art or different translations. This way we are not limiting author of derivative work to use cheap files/sounds/photo/images only, any files could be used (and have alternatives of different price to select from). Also if a viewer/person already payed for that file/music/photo/video then there is not need to charge again (as part of derivative art/lesson/file).

 

This will lead to .... we need not force to delete art/media files from a computer if user are not the owner or have no license to view it. And we do not need users to be convicted of keeping them and put to jail any more if they have devices/players which will check NFT ownership or licensing (for special/time/count use cases). So you could download a container file with included or linked alternatives and then pay later (and select sub file to pay/play). Same way you could download software to Quest device with one user login and then other user will not have access to it (unless shared and approved with license for sharing option).

 

We could have new type of links to point to partial content. So if you have a post/comment/article you could have a link to one sentence/citation (that will solve comments with citation case 😉 ). If you have an image/photo, you could have a link to selected part of it (rectangular or any shape) or even single pixel. For video it could be both "time interval"  or/and shape (moving with time) and/or with a sound part. So you could select part of a content to be linked to your derivative work. Or you could cut a part of that content and make a new file.

 

You could have partial licensing. So if there are film with different translations you could buy only one of translations. And some other person/company could provide own subtitles/translation as a derivative work. Original author/owner will not be forced to check any use/derivative works around the world (and will have more time for creative work). So other person is free to make any derivative (to view it you will pay for original work/media/art or it's part if you like to see those original part in derivative). Content moderation could be done withing players/viewers software.

 

But also this could lead to some consequences with countries interaction. If you are the owner of NFT to a content which is banned in some country (or any part of content, even small one) that could lead to a questions from that country if you choose to go there (or to other near country). If any could check that you are a content copy owner, then it is evidence for a court 🙂 So... there could be some "antilicenses". And you could be warned before you buy that content that "list of countries" will think you are a criminal. Same way you could be warned before you'll buy a ticket to go there. For licenses you could have an option "do not allow to check it" (set "not allowed" by default so will not be spammed with lot's of queries and confirm only query from own devices, same for queries for content you are not owning (or "deny" will reveal ownership)). Or some countries could decide that it is ok until you try to play that content (or part) inside a country. That is easy to solve by software (or even delete local copy of that content before you go there). Need to think of those cases...

 

Some owners/companies could grant a free license to a part of content. That could be "preview" or "trailer". Or even they could decide to give for free parts of a video/film (less then 10sec) which become a meme (part of meme). And they will have show count/usage stat instead (from ecosystems and license server checks). So meme could be a "free adv" for a film (and you will have info about it and a link to buy it inside that content part). Company will not allow to have it all free even split in 10 sec 🙂 Only some parts of it will be.

 

Also there could be "source" file formats. So you could keep all original data for media created (original photos/videos/sounds/layers/objects/scripts/ideas/logs/video of creation process etc). That will not be accessible for free and will be stored in some safe place. It could be used to prove that you are original owner/author/creator. You could make derivative files (optimized, lower res, converted...) to be used in Metaverse. Also you could sell those derivatives as a copies but keep source for you only. Derivative could be converted to a single file or be split in sub files to make it easier for other derivatives creations (translations/additions/mods/etc).

 

Some new file formats will need new "players" (software) or converters to more general formats (like html/pdf/....). You could include those inside a container file also (to distribute as a single file), so ecosystem software will use own player or included one if it have no special for that format. That player/converter could use same sandbox/virtual computer code (actually code/app is same as any other media/art/file).

 

Metaverse could disconnect education from universities. Any user/teacher could create own version of educational content (based on any other content in Metaverse). And that could be course as a whole or a single part of it only (even one image or a single quiz for a topic). And you will not need to spend certain amount of years to complete educational program. Instead you could learn whole your life as much as you like but spend only part of your day time for education. More you learn, more possible vacancies will open to you.

 

Have you any thoughts? What cases or pitfalls you could see to consider?

 


@Nekto2 wrote:

> ...VR is the focus of the story as much, if not more, than what they're doing with VR.

 

Yea I think it'll change. Same was with "computers in educations" and "online education" some time ago. Now computers and the Internet are tools.

 

Same will be with Metaverse, I hope. It could become "just another tool".

 


 

Hmm, that seems like an oversimplification. The Internet began as a tool. When it was first launched, it was a tool people could use to find and share information. In order to use this Internet tool, your computer had to literally make a phone call to connect to a network of computers.

 

But today? The Internet is the first official Metaverse. The Internet is a platform and ecosystem in which tools are built, bought, and sold. The internet has allowed intangible things to exist and function just the same as things that are tangible.

The recent concept of, The Internet of Things, speaks to how the Internet has evolved beyond a mere tool.

 

Granted, one could argue that it is still a tool, when we use extremely simplified language. To make an analogy, it is like comparing a hammer vs a house. A hammer is a tool that can be used to build a house. But is the house a tool? Arguably, yes. A house is a tool people use for shelter; in its most basic form. But I do not think that we can truthfully limit our explanation of "a home" to "a house = a tool."

 

The Internet has given life to things that once did not live. The Internet has birthed a new concept of existence. The Internet goes far beyond being a mere tool once we acknowledge the full scope of what the Internet entails and provides.

 

Without the Internet, there is no Metaverse. That alone speaks volumes to the Internet's evolution beyond just a tool.

😊

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

However the Metaverse is analogised (is that a word? it sounds rude) it's going to take a while to get where any of us are imagining it.

 

Meta's compartmentalising tasks into apps, which is probably a good idea right now, so Workrooms and Worlds for starters, each having specific tools for the job that they're designed for.

 

It's not how I see the perfect metaverse eventually being realised though. I think we eventually want everything to be possible within a single environment, with seamless transitioning from play to work to education. And tools to ringfence tasks rather than separating tasks into apps.

 

Right now I don't think you can import models into Worlds, or images or media? everything in the World has to be created in-app (correct me if I'm wrong). That limits what you can do, particularly with education.

 

I think there will be some very fast evolving going on and we won't recognise these app in 5 or 10 years time. Probably only VR gaming will be the same.

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> Granted, one could argue that it is still a tool, when we use extremely simplified language. To make an analogy, it is like comparing a hammer vs a house. 

 

I agree. I have used an oversimplified language and missed to add "tool ... for education process".

I was trying to highlight the change from "I build with a Hammer" (and hide "house") to "I build a House" (and hide "with a hammer"). So we "do education" (and hide "with a pen", "with computers". "with Internet" and in the future will hide "with VR" I hope).

 

 Also... "hammer" is a part of an ecosystem with "nails" and "wood" 🙂

 

> The internet has allowed intangible things to exist and function just the same as things that are tangible.

> The Internet has given life to things that once did not live. 

 

Great points!

I will add them to my list of Internet definitions.

Before I thought of two definitions (both are subjective points of view and no one is better then other).

1) Internet is world wide network to deliver data (from a technical point of view) and that is all. Servers and services are not "Internet" but "clients".

2) Any services and servers and all physical world touching the network in some way are parts of the Internet.

 

With a simple analogy it could be:

1) pizza restaurant and delivery is not a part of the Internet even if you could make an order through the Internet. Wikipedia is not part of the Internet even if you could request and get reply though the Internet.

2) both pizza delivery and Wikipedia are parts of the Internet (they are connected to it in some way).

 

Same analogy for "paper post mail" service, telephony service, railroad service,....

If you could order a pizza with a telephone (or ask for info and get an answer) that it is part of world wide telephony network.

Same way you could ask Wikipedia (in theory) to post mail you an usb flash drive with data requested. So Wikipedia could be part of "world wide postal service".

Or post mail a check to a store and get you goods with post mail delivery.

 

So those a points of view without single correct or not answers I think.

 

But idea of "new things creation" which can't exist without Internet is changing a lot. Thanks!

 

> However the Metaverse is analogised (is that a word? it sounds rude) it's going to take a while to get where any of us are imagining it.

And even move beyond our imagination I think 🙂

 

> I think we eventually want everything to be possible within a single environment, with seamless transitioning from play to work to education. 

We already have it ... sort of.... on PC you could run "Home" and there are cartridges and portals to run apps and games (and you a "seamlessly" transferred to grid room and then to app). Ok not so seamlessly yet.... but the idea is there 🙂   Your in headset view is freezing and not loosing responsiveness to head movements.

 

> Right now I don't think you can import models into Worlds, or images or media? everything in the World has to be created in-app (correct me if I'm wrong). That limits what you can do, particularly with education.

 

It's ok to load any content for early adopters. But for billions of people it could not work without moderation and content ownership checks 😞 So it is as it is.  Hope there will be Horizon Education with uploads and all responsibility on a tutor for content checks. Or some other solution.