Enter the Realities
There are many forms of new “realities” emerging – “virtual,” where users are immersed in a completely digital world, like game worlds; “augmented,” where digital images are layered on top of pictures of the real world, like in Pokémon Go; and “mixed,” where digital images are layered on reality and can be manipulated by people in the real world, like with Microsoft’s HoloLens.
Mixed reality (MR) is the most applicable for productivity and education, and has the easiest route to integration across many industries. This is in large part due to MR’s ability to merge augmented digital content into real-world scenarios seamlessly, giving the student/user the most realistic context of the experience at hand. In addition to integrating digital objects into the real world, it will enable multiple people to simultaneously view and manipulate shared digital objects, allowing for both singular and group learning activities, dependent on the material, learning style, and use of application. With hardware like the HoloLens, it is extremely portable and accessible to non-techy organizations. While still in its infancy, MR is already proving to be a capable tool for the classroom and workplace.
For our exploration, we experimented with how a HoloLens could decrease learning time over conventional classroom methods. Along the way, we followed a few “best learning practices:” learning-by-doing and working-together.