July 21, 2024

Virtual Reality at USUE


This archived article was written by: Emma Campbell

Have you ever wanted to fly or be face to face with a whale? That is exactly what students and faculty did at the Virtual Reality Demo in the LLC, Nov. 8-9.
Robby Sproul, technical professional at USU Logan, visited Eastern’s Campus to show off his incredible VR gear. USU has a virtual reality classroom for faculty to explore the possibilities of using it for educational purposes. Sproul said, “We do not want to invest in something that will not be used.”
So much can be done with virtual reality and it can bring amazing changes to the way students learn. It is being used to teach nursing, landscaping, architecture, design and even math. Math professors are using VR to help students understand 3D concepts. Virtual reality is also being used to bring students into history. They can go into a World War ll stimulation, cross enemy lines, talk to the historical figure next to them and crash in a plane.
“Over the next year or two, virtual reality is going to boom,” Sproul told the demonstration audience. Movie companies are investing millions of dollars into virtual reality; this is the next step to it becoming more mainstream. “Once big movie companies develop better, longer content VR will become more advanced.”
Augmented reality and virtual reality were both shown at the demonstration. The difference between the two is that VR replaces your whole eyesight with a virtual reality while AR adds something virtual to what you see in the real world. The HTC Vice and Microsoft Hololen’s virtual and augmented reality headsets were used at this event. One man said he felt like Iron Man when he used the AR Microsoft Hololens.
The reason for Sproul bringing VR technology to the Price campus and distance education sites across Utah is to spark the interest of faculty and students. Logan wants to share whatever resources they have with all the USU sites. The only way to get this technology on Eastern’s campus is to ask for it and show the need for it.