Cheap, accessible, and virtual experiences as tools for immersive study: a proof of concept study
Virtual and augmented reality technology is becoming more commonly available within a plethora of environments in which we exist, including educational environments. With advances in technology, and more exposure to its capabilities, there is a greater expectations and reliance on it. However, much of the hardware (and some of the software) which makes this technology usable is expensive and inaccessible to many. This article introduces a method for capturing and providing cost-effective virtual reality experiences, used here as a tool to give students improved accessory data and context regarding geological lab samples. The method introduced utilises the Google Cardboard camera app and Google Cardboard viewers. The virtual reality environment created is a mini-immersive experience that could be provided to students, or collected by students for their own use. The article reports results from a study of 20 participants who answered a questionnaire outlining their experiences of implementing the method. They responded positively, highlighting the applicability of the method to the task, the ease of use of tool and the accessibility of technology. Image quality of the method was raised as an area for improvement.
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