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Two companies already signed on to create Daydream-based stand-alone VR headsets are HTC and Lenovo, which are expected to provide units to purchase before the end of 2017. Because the reference design doesn’t rely on a smartphone, there won’t be phone-related hardware and software hogging valuable resources. The headsets will be fine-tuned for two smaller screens for the optimal mobile VR experience.

But even the Daydream reference design stems from a mobile VR platform created by Qualcomm. According to the company’s developer kit, it’s based on the Snapdragon 835 chip, and two displays that produce a 2560 x 1440 resolution combined. The design is backed by 4GB of LPDDR4 system memory, and 64GB of internal storage for housing all those VR experiences. Other features include a built-in trackpad for manual input, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity.Qualcomm’s hardware layout is likely the foundation that powers the joint effort between HTC and Qualcomm in China. This version won’t have Google’s involvement even though it may look similar to the Daydream model showcased during Google’s developer conference. According to Qualcomm, superficial aesthetics will slightly differ.

So if this stand-alone headset isn’t powered by Android, then what will be the base operating system? HTC’s Daydream model set to hit the Western market will be based on Daydream 2.0 “Euphrates” and the Android O platform. However, Qualcomm couldn’t comment on the Google-free, China-bound model. Instead, the company stated that HTC would share additional information in the coming weeks.Outside the removal of Android and the Daydream platform, the Chinese model will obviously not support Google’s WorldSense technology. However, the headset will likely include front-mounted cameras with fisheye lenses, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and motion sensing technology provided by Leap Motion.

“Partnering with Qualcomm to deliver an easy to use and more affordable Vive VR system will enable us to make premium stand-alone VR widely accessible to the masses in China,” said Alvin W. Graylin, China regional president of Vive, HTC.HTC and Qualcomm didn’t say when the stand-alone VR headset will hit the Chinese market, but hopefully it will arrive in time to take on Samsung’s Odyssey stand-alone VR headset. Developers interested in creating content for HTC’s China-bound headset can head to for more information.echnologies.  The see VR as a growth market which is why they decided to target it.

 Luckily, the snapdragon 820 makes the perfect fit for this kind of technology, not only because of its advanced CPU, but also with its spectra camera image signal processor (ISP.)The VR820 has some very impressive features as well.  The HMD has two 1440×1440 AMOLED displays, that’s better than the specs of both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.  The HMD features two eye tracking cameras as well as external cameras, allowing for augmented reality as well as VR.  Qualcomm believes that the VR820 will be the new industry standard for creating VR headsets.  A similar strategy is oftentimes applied by smartphone manufacturers and qualcomm is no longer a stranger to such strategies because many other manufacturers use Snapdragon chips in their own products.

 The greatest obstacle right now for manufacturers in the VR industry is software compability.  This is why qualcomm aims at proving the new industry standard by making a headset that is not only superior, but cheaper than all other headsets on the market.  VR experiences which include gaming and movie watching are still a very long way from achieving their full potential.  Hardware manufacturers can still develop ostentatious headsets, but if they do not use software that is going to take full advantage of its features, the effort will be a waste.  Part 3: Changing the World VR gaming and entertainment has the power to extend beyond digital gaming and contribute to society in an impactful way.  VR has already done a lot to begin impacting some fields such as business and healthcare, and soon it will expand to impact other fields, especially  education.   One major luxury hotel company decided to use VR to advertise its cruise lines and hotel rooms by allowing customers to try its travel product before ever setting foot in a room or on a ship.  Shangri-La Hotels and resorts have begun developing a series of Virtual Reality videos that play on Samsung Gear VR headsets.

 The promotional videos aim to offer customers the experience of being on the ship without actually having to be there.  Shangri-La has a simulation for one its cruise lines, Azamara, that even shows what it is like to ride a zip line through a costa rican rainforest, or take a moonlit carriage ride in Cartagena, Columbia.   Similarly, VR is beginning to contribute to the medical world as well.  There are some medical procedures that are so rare that the opportunities to learn and refine a medical technique can be small.  VR training is beginning to give doctors the opportunity to work on these techniques so that a rarely occurring injury leads to a normal surgery.  VRs contribution to healthcare does in fact expand beyond training.  VR can be used as a diagnostic device for recovery as well.

 From robotic surgery to PTSD rehab for veterans, the amount that VR can do to help seems limitless. Although it is interesting to look at areas that VR is already changing, what is most intriguing is looking at an area that VR has not yet changed: education.  There are so many aspects of education that can be enhanced and refined by VR that it is inevitable that it will one day be the focal point of preparation for the real world.  America is constantly changing and our future is in the hands of the generations to come, but if the United States continues to do education the way it has for the past few centuries, we will accomplish nothing.  We are in the middle of a technological revolution, and the educational systems are just not keeping up with.

 Education is the most valuable preparation workers get before starting their jobs, the quality of it needs to exceed the same thing we have been doing since 1837.  In order to keep up our world’s innovation, VR is going have to be incorporated into our education system. Although all different media types have the potential for teaching, some can contribute more than others can.  VR, being the most interactive technology of its kind, could biggest impact in education.

 VR will provide more engaging and effective learning for students of all ages.  To understand why this shift in culture is necessary, it is important to see what is wrong with the current system, review the modern understanding of education, and learn what gaming can do to take advantage of these findings to eventually reveal how VR can use this knowledge to impact our future education system and more importantly our workplaces.   Although it is good that many people agree that there is perhaps an crisis in education here in the US, it is unfortunate that many do not agree on what the issues actually are.  All of the known flaws that we do have, VR can actually help.  In the 1900s, the K-12 system was aimed to prepare the population for jobs in factories and standard roles for a corporation.  Despite the fact that we are in the middle of an organizational and a technological revolution, the system of education in place is uninspiring.  Schools are not doing a good job preparing students with the skills that they are going to need in our rapidly changing world.

 For example, the fact that the vast majority of schools are still offering computer science as an elective is outrageous.  Some schools do not even offer it as a course at all.  Computer science is where many jobs are going to be , and there is already a significant shortage of qualified programmers.

 Fortunately, VR gaming in education can solve all of these issues and more.   Before understanding why VR can impact education, one must understand how we learn.  There is a lot of research today on how humans learn and more importantly, what motivates humans to learn.

 Here are some of the things researchers have found about how we learn.  Thinking is a very rewarding task if the problem is not too hard but also not too easy.  Problem solving results in chemicals being released from your reward system if you are successful.  We have learned that humans have a very limited “working memory” of information our mind can hold at once.

 Storytelling is a very effective way to teach.  When learning, the things that you think about during the process of learning are the things that you remember; for example, if you watched an hour long experiment and the only thing that you thought about was how the experiment was, the components of the experiment will be forgotten.  The more you practice, the longer you will remember what is being practiced, without it, you will never become competent.  However, it is evident that repetitiveness is found to be extremely boring.  The things we tend to remember are the ones that influence us emotionally, or are found interesting.  The more competent you are in one field, the faster it will take to learn more in that field.  VR can influence each and every one of these human tendencies in a way that is more efficient than our contemporary educational system.

Learning through play works.  Humans have been wired through evolution to learn through playing and storytelling.  When children play, it helps them develop important social cognitive skills, maturity, and the confidence to try new things.  The only problem with playing is that it shouldn’t be limited to children.  Somewhere in our cultural history, playing became something that was exclusive to children.  One thing that has begin to change this concept is digital gaming.  For a while, gaming was considered an activity that is for kids, however, the average age for a video gamer is now 31, rejecting the adopted view.

 By combining education and play time, people will learn in new ways that can be both fun and engaging.  The two work hand-in-hand, when what you are learning about is fun, the engagement is high and the results are significantly better.  To put it into perspective, you do not need to force yourself to pay attention to your favorite television show the way you have to do in AP Chemistry, who is to say we cannot change that?  When people want to learn about what is being taught, they are not bored, more information will be remembered, more time will be spent studying, and consequently, you will be happier.  Educators have come with four different skills which are imperative for preparing students to make an impact in the 21st century.   It is ironic that each of the skills chosen by educators can be learned and worked on while gaming just as well as it could be in a classroom.

 The first skill which is important for preparing students is critical thinking.  Critical thinking is something that every video gamer will come across whenever playing.  When a player faces a problem, he must think critically about what actions must be taken in order to overcome the problem.  When gamers try something and it fails, they will learn from the experience, grow from it, and try a new approach.  The next skill all students must have is the ability to communicate.  When students are playing a game that involves teamwork, they are required to communicate constantly if they want to be successful.  Another skill that was chosen by educators is collaboration.  Collaboration is important in all video games that have teams.

 Players who work beside their teammates will be significantly more successful: being a team player is everything.  Gaming helps enhance all of the skills mentioned, and as a result, it is a proven fact that it helps at work.  The US Department of Defense has backed up this fact, conducting a study which concludes that gamers have 10-20 percent better cognitive function than non-gamers.  Often times, workers do not even realize that their skills are being practiced while gaming.  A smooth transfer from academics to the workplace should be the goal in the minds of all educators and VR game designers.  Even though games are doing a lot to benefit industries, it is clear that some games will do a better job at it than others, yet nobody has even focused on specifically targeting and building these skills.

 Many of these skills are the same that are taught in our system of school today but just taught in a better way.  For example, these skills can be practiced in video games that could teach history or science just as well as it could teach magical warfare.  As stated earlier, practice is necessary to achieve competence and certainly for mastery; however, it also causes boredom.  In order for a learner to maximise his potential, it is important that he stay engaged in what he is practicing or else he is doing himself no good.

 In an education environment where few actually want to learn, students often become bored.  This flaw in the educational system can be fixed through educational gaming because it will make practicing skills fun.  Games would not only make practice fun, they could also make practice vary.  This is important because repetition leads to boredom.  Creators must always keep in mind that interactivity is the most important aspect of learning in VR if they want to take full advantage of VRs offerings.

 Additionally, contemporary school systems put too much pressure on the student.  Students are tested on their knowledge of a subject, if they are right, great! If they are wrong, there is nothing they can do about it.  By the time that the teacher hands the test back to the students, they have already forgotten what the test was on and will never return to the concepts taught again.

 This teaching culture leads the student to having one motivation in school – the wrong one – getting the answers right.  Students do not care about the material nor do they care about actually holding onto the material after the test is over.  They only care about getting the answers right so that their grades are good.  This causes two significant issues in the student’s learning process. First off, students will always fear failure when learning.  This is because they cannot do anything about it once the test is over so that feeling of control over their own destiny then goes away.

 Life is not like that though, so why is our education this way?  In life, we all have to try, fail, and grow from our failure and take a new approach at some point. The second issue is the lack of information that is retained after taking the test. When the test is given back much later than it was taken, so much time lapses between when the question is taken and when it was seen again that students’ thought process on the problem has now gone away.  That’s assuming the student even returns to the test and reads the feedback.  As stated above, most students just care about the score.

 This is simply an logistics issue because it is not possible for a teacher to return 20 or more tests instantaneously.  In a best case scenario, the teacher will return the test by the next day.  This still leaves an entire day between answering the question and encountering it again.  A student’s mind is no longer on it and he may have already lost track of the entire thought process. Games would be able to solve both of these issues.  In a game, you are provided with a conflict and asked to find a way to solve it.  Tests, however, ask students if they know what the solution is.

 The difference is, when you fail in a game, you get instant feedback and you immediately try again.  This allows you to practice until mastery as opposed to having one change to get it right.  Because schools cannot provide this for students, they are not given an opportunity learn and improve from their mistakes.  Gaming gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, turn weaknesses into strengths, and it relieves the fear of being wrong.

 When it comes to focusing on the individual student, schools lack in flexibility.  No student is maximizing his potential when the students that are excelling have no interest to delve deeper into subject when they know everything and the ones struggling continue to fall behind.  Education needs to become more personalized, and one way to solve this is through gaming education.  Gaming allows for lessons to be flexible depending on the student.

 It is very possible for games to be built that are evaluating where the students are doing a good job and where they need more attention.  Teachers can then base the student’s difficulty level on the data received.  Students will only maximise their potential in school when we adopt the value of continual self improvement and drop the long followed culture that learning should be through comparative results.

 Virtual Reality has so much potential to provide ways of learning that were never possible previously.  VR is the most interactive experience that comes from any media.  This is because of presence.  Presence revolutionizes the way that we are designing experiences that we can play.  Presence makes playing or exploration possible when it would previously been expensive, dangerous, or impossible.  Students in traditional chemistry classes are limited to only conducting experiments that have a careful set of instructions when mixing different chemicals.  This will not do much good because students are not figuring their way through experiments.  This means that students are not thinking about what is being done based on the properties of the components, they are just following instructions.

 A VR chemistry lab, however, could expand the amount of work one could do with substances freeing any fear of injury or failure.  Better yet, experiments in chemistry classes could even be turned into a VR game where students try to create compounds based on their properties.  Players who enjoy minecraft spend free time researching what they can do to better their structures, so who is to say students cannot research in their free times things that could actually be impactful.

 VR education will likely begin with individual games that teach specific subjects.  A game could take you back to the American Civil War to teach history, or a walk through Mars in astronomy class.  Eventually, students will either subscribe to a certain VR curriculum or purchase content for specific lessons.

 School will eventually become a VR game where students will have to work both individually and collaboratively to solve problems and learn.  By making school an experience that is fun, the motivation of getting good grades will go away and students will have a self-motivation to do great! Virtual Reality is not just an exciting new form of video gaming, its power and impact on society expand far beyond games.  When in Virtual Reality, you are always learning.  It does not matter whether you are shooting red glass figures or learning science, when you are in VR, you are trying things that would have not been possible previously and therefore are learning.  With the power to defy physics, there is no limited to what you can do in VR.  Virtual Reality is going to be a revolution of its own; once accessible, it is inevitable that VR will shape the way people play, work, and learn.  With a future incorporating VR, everybody should be excited; it is a blessing to be alive in a time where the world’s most useful technology also happens to be the most fun.


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