The virtual and augmented reality industry is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2021. Governments worldwide are well aware of the value and impact these technologies will have on their nations, especially the young generation, and investments are rising accordingly.
Benefits of VR & AR
VR & AR technologies can provide a brand new creative medium, using technology that reflects the world in concentric circles rather than rectilinear forms. This delivers a novel experience and helps observers feel more involved in a situation, and is particularly important in an educational context.
What Measures are Governments Taking to Enhance Mixed Reality Presence?
This week, the U.S. Department of Education announced the finalists of the EdSim Challenge (launched in 2015) calling on educators and software developers to explore new ideas using simulation technology for the benefit of the education sector. Each finalist will receive $50,000 and an opportunity to develop his or her ideas further through the expert-led Virtual Accelerator.
The UAE Ministry of Education launched a project to teach students using virtual and augmented reality. The project will include 17 public schools, whose students will be immersed in challenging situations, such as touring a space station, with the help of VR headsets.
The Ministry of Education of this European country included augmented reality in their revised national curriculum as a recommended technology to be applied in junior high schools. Special courses will help students solve problems using AR as a tool. Focus is placed on the problem-solving process and virtual/augmented reality is recommended as a means of encouraging innovation, design, creativity, and teamwork.
Efforts made by local, regional, and national governments have resulted in China’s breaking the world record in terms of investments in virtual and augmented reality. In collaboration with HTC, the Municipal Government of Shenzhen is developing a new virtual reality research institute to augment the sector’s presence in the city. Another Chinese initiative is the Virtual Reality Town of Beidouwan, developed with the support of the local authorities of Guizhou Province, which is aimed at enhancing the town’s VRAR ecosystem. Each project will dedicate resources and funding to studying and nurturing partnerships to advance education and training using mixed-reality technology.
Promise for All Sectors
Mixed-reality technology will benefit not only the educational, but also the commercial sector. For instance, it will make it possible for smaller enterprises to offer higher-quality content at a lower price. Advances in film technology, markedly reducing production time, are an example of this.