A US company has announced plans to develop a virtual reality headset for teachers that will let them see the classroom in real time, and a study suggests that people will be interested in using VR to experience their favourite games.
The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that people who were interested in learning new things and had more active social networks showed the highest levels of interest in virtual reality, while people who disliked being alone were more likely to not use it.
While VR headsets have already been around for a long time, they were first brought to the public’s attention by Valve.
While the company has a number of successful VR experiences available, including Half Life 2, Valve’s original Half-Life was the first to use a headset that allowed you to see your surroundings in 3D.
However, while VR headsets can be used to see the world from different angles, the research showed that people in a group of friends are the most likely to want to experience VR with others.
“There is something special about being with a group that is experiencing something in a completely different way than you are, so the feeling of being immersed in a virtual world is very rewarding,” researcher Anna M. Gudzune, a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, told Business Insider.
“It makes you feel as if you are really there.”
The study found that the people who liked being alone had the highest interest in VR, while the people with a dislike for being alone showed the lowest.
“What people like about VR is that it’s a really interactive experience,” Gudsune said.
“You can play with the things you see in the world.”
Gudzunek said she hoped the virtual reality experience could be useful in classrooms.
“We can be a part of the experience and share with our peers what they see,” she said.
The research is part of a larger effort by Microsoft to use virtual reality to help teachers and students learn from each other, with Microsoft’s Project Alloy, for example, helping to train teachers on the use of a virtual-reality system.
Gudsunek told Business Insiders that it is possible that the virtual-renewable energy from virtual reality headsets could be used as an alternative to energy-intensive lighting in classrooms and to make it easier for teachers to keep track of student progress.
“I think there are a number applications for it, but it’s not a completely new technology,” she told Businessinsider.
“The key point is that if we can build it into a device, it’s going to be a more sustainable resource for teachers.”
She added that Microsoft had received many requests for developers to build VR games for its virtual reality platform.