I had a chance to try out the HTC Vive at the Microsoft store a few days ago, and it helped to solidify my belief that virtual reality has a huge role to play in the future of education.
This was my first experience with a full head-mounted display (I’ve played around briefly with Google Cardboard), and I am glad that I was able to test the Vive, which comes with controllers that follow the movements of your hands. Aside from some technical glitches that meant I had to stand around wearing the gear for about 20 minutes while the staff repeatedly rebooted the system to get things working (upside: I know how it feels after wearing it for more than half an hour), I was amazed by the technology.
I should say that I have some issues with motion and motion blur, and the Vive gave me no problems whatsoever. Granted, none of the demo programs that I tried involved dramatic movement, but even so, I was able to move around and shift my focus without experiencing any discomfort. The world I inhabited in virtual space was responsive an infinite in its scope. The visuals were way beyond what I was expecting, and they are only going to get better.
Depending on the subject, this technology could absolutely be integrated into the curriculum right now (obviously, this requires a capital investment). To be truly ready for prime time, there are a number of things that need to happen or be improved: wireless is first, followed by accurate haptic feedback, and social interaction. Having said that, there is no doubt in my mind that VR has the potential to truly change the way we teach and learn.