Virtual reality’s (VR’s) potential impacts on education have been well noted in the technology’s short life span. Many dream of putting on a head-mounted display (HMD) and visiting museums or stepping back in time, while others are looking at VR to deliver new forms of training and more. Teaching a language in VR, however, is something entirely new. That’s what indie developer Maxim Miheyenko is looking at with his entry into Oculus VR’s ongoing Mobile VR Jam, House of Languages, which is part of the apps and experiences track of the competition.
Developed for the Gear VR smartphone-based HMD, House of Languages is currently designed to help users learn either English, German or Spanish. The title does this by placing users in a 3D environment with a cutesy animal named Mr. Woo. The character will ask players to locate specific objects within an environment, which they will do using the Gear VR’s head-tracking technology. As they study objects, players will be able to see their names as well as hearing Mr. Woo say them. Players themselves can then say the names and select the correct object using the Gear VR’s touchpad.
The build of House of Languages that was submitted to Oculus VR for judging can now be downloaded through an official entry page. As part of the apps and experiences track of the Mobile VR Jam, the title hopes to earn the grand prize of $100,000 USD. Runner-up awards include $50,000, $30,000, and $10,000 prizes. There’s also a community voted award running which offers a further $10,000 for entrants in both the apps and videogames categories. Titles are to be judged by a panel of VR expert including Oculus VR’s own Palmer Luckey and John Carmack.
VRFocus will continue to follow any and all entries into the Mobile VR Jam, reporting back with the latest on them.