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Community College Shows What VR Is Capable Of

Virtual reality (VR) labs at schools and colleges are becoming increasingly common. As the technology develops and the industry grows, many educational centres are integrating VR and augmented reality (AR) into lessons and training. One such place is Eastern Iowa Community College, which has recently received its own lab courtesy of EON Reality.

The college invited workers from the local area to the recently opened Virtual Reality Interactive Digital Center so they could see how VR has benefits with regards to education and training. For many of the visitors, it was their first time using any kind of VR equipment.

“We want to educate the community about what VR and AR is and how it may be implemented into their institutions, organizations or companies,” said Joshua Drake, Eastern Iowa’s VR Training Initiatives project manager.

Mats Johansson, the CEO and co-founder of EON Reality was also on-site for the event, and commented on how use of VR in healthcare was a large growth area: “For almost every large corporation, training is a big issue and it’s expensive. Some studies show health care is a large part of the future VR market,” he added, “Some studies put it at No. 2, after video games.”

During a discussion on a new software suite designed for ophthalmology where the VR technology can simulate a variety of eye problems for students to look at safely, Dr. Anuradha Khanna, associate professor of ophthalmology at Loyola University Chicago said: “We’re not trying to replace anything, this is enhancing what already exists. Knowing something is one thing, putting it into practice is another thing.”

Another visitor was Joe Cheben, a senior engineering associate at ExxonMobil, who was also enthusiastic about the possibilities presented by VR: “You could get eight to 10 years experience on a machine or a control center in less than a year.” he said.

User of VR for education and training is a growing area. As always, VRFocus will bring you the latest new developments.