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ideas: VR Goggle Apps

Posted September 15th, 2015 by Warren Blyth

quick list of ideas for Apps we could make for VR goggles:
(feel free to add your own here at the top, or in the comments)

7) Instructional Dining
We have a tool to help IDs keep track of all their current cours. maybe we could make more of a spatial (360) space to help them see and sort them. Maybe benefit would be endless screen space (no more scrolling), and maybe a variety of helpful ways to sort them. Maybe each ID could store their arrangements, and share with each other for a bit of team building (insight into how others do things). Maybe this could build off the existing database backend work.
(maybe we could pull in teacher’s posted office hours? or ntoe their past preferences for audio recording times, to build a visualization of where the density lies?)

+ maybe it could have a fine dining aesthetic, to tie into the chef hat costuming at last year’s Faculty Forum. Go for elegance? treat class planning like recipes? a strong metaphor always helps!

6) Standardized Ecampus Intro – Kinetoscope
Might be neat to have a “start screen” space where you can hang out and get your bearings, until you’re ready to jump into whatever experience for your class. It’d be interesting to offer an old school setting, to play up how far higher education has come in the last 100+ years.
So picture dusty books and telescopes and floating lenses and planets – but there is a featured Orthostereogram or edison Kinetoscope box nearby. Lean in and line up your eyes with the viewing holes to see some primitive wood blocks moving in 3D (which match the topic: birds, or lab coats, calculators, etc.) – and you get to enjoy this while your experience is loading. So now you have a magical load screen that sets up the topic as you transition into the real experience.
I think I just dig the psychology of mimicking the feeling you get from shoving your face into a Google Cardboard as if it was a kinetoscope. (maybe this could just be a way for Google Cardboard apps to start. Maybe Gear VR could have an intro that’s more about wearing a diving mask and dipping your face into different fishtanks)

5) Field trip
Any class that would benefit from a field trip – would benefit from VR. The main appeal of VR goggles is “presence,” so they are ideal for offering field trips you can take at any time.
We should soon have spherical video from field work (up to 5 minutes long?), so it would make sense to offer this along side a go-at-your-own-pace VR version.

4) Student Reaction
Like a director’s commentary, for the audience. Also a way to let students feel each others’ presence.
Let students record their reactions to a lecture (with options ranging from: just audio to face on web cam to full body on kinect). Save all audio, but identify repeating parts of their visual performance and “compress the performance” by saving these into discrete chunks which can be triggered to approximate the original performance (do it randomly by default, but let power users choose which chunks they value most).
Finally, play back every students reaction to same lecture in a theater seating environment so you can look around with VR goggles. Theatre viewing is currently the most compelling app on GearVR, so this is a way to captalize on that appeal, while pushing it forward.
(imagine scenarios where the teacher is able to be in the audience commenting on their own lesson. Or where a classroom has 30 different versions of the same student, so they can observe how their reactions have evolved everytime they watched the lecture)

3) AR concept
mockup some of these AR concepts that we can’t actually do yet (because the tech isn’t out, and management won’t buy dev kits for some time). We can start a separate post for AR ideas. but. We can mock up the idea right now, in VR.

2) Office ours (Where are your students)
teacher could put on the VR goggles to enter a virtual Ecampus office, filled with updates and news, and their courses. (What data could we pull from Canvas? gradebook?)
every student’s GPS coordinates could be fed in, so looking around would show them a glowing dot with a name, distance in kilometers, and local time – for each student currently enrolled in their course.

1) Campus tour
follow one of these 90 minute campus tours around and take notes. Then recreate their tour with richly detailed 3D models. Let user change the time of day, and date of year (showing rain, sun, snow).

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