Today I surprised the 27 students in my graduate computer graphics class. I handed out an Oculus Quest VR system to every student.
They will each get to use the Quest for the rest of the semester. They will be able to take the Quests home with them, and use them any way they like.
The plan is to have them do the rest of their assignments in WebVR. We will provide software libraries which will allow them to turn a VR experience into a shared “Metaroom”.
A Metaroom (a word I made up) is a kind of extreme mixed reality, in which everyone sees each other as an avatar in VR, but always in their actual respective position in the physical room. It’s sort of VR, and it’s sort of AR. But it’s definitely the future. 🙂
For their final semester projects the students will collaborate with students from the School of Visual Arts to use those Quests to create shared Metaroom experiences. The whole thing was made possible by a very generous donation of 30 Oculus Quests by the education group at Facebook Oculus.
The students were very quite surprised, and extremely happy. I don’t think they were expecting such a turn of events. As you can see from the photo, the students all had a great time setting up their VR systems.