Oculus Rift makes it possible for users to explore virtual environments in stereoscopic 3D. It was invented by Palmer Luckey and recently sold to Facebook for $2 billion. He invented it to allow for more immersion in video games, but as worthwhile as that may be its potential uses seem unlimited. Consumer versions Oculus Rift will not be available until late this year or early next. However, Oculus Rift development kits, which include a ski mask-like headset and access to software development tools, have been available to developers for the past year or so.
MuveEd purchased two of the software development Rift kits and has developed a Rift version of its VLX. We are currently working to improve the VLX/Rift interface and integrate educational applications for it. The first application will be used to provide students with a more immersive experience in its VLX wetlands module. For example, in the not too distant future instead of looking at an image of a microorganism, students will be able to be “inside” and maneuver around a 3D image of it.
We think the Rift has significant potential for learners of all ages and are happy to be forerunners in the discovery of development of the use of the rift for those purposes.