With your objectives and goals in mind selecting the equipment can be easy. Your focus should be on the level of interact ability that you will need in order to fulfill your objectives.
For skills that focus more on practice you would want to utilize equipment such as the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift that provide more interactive abilities.
Select Your Equipment
For skills that require more awareness than interact abilities you would want to focus on mobile VR aspects using devices such as Gear VR and Google Cardboard. It is worth noting that you will need to focus on making sure that when setting up your VR/AR Lab you have all the requirements to run these equipment as the requirements can vary depending upon what the used equipment are.
To find this out you will only need to go to the manufacturer’s webpage and look at the technical requirements sheet. However, we have taken the liberty to list some of the requirements on the next page as well as the functions that they are best suited for.
Select the equipment based on the benefits that your have in objectives and goals that you have outlined in the first step. You will also want to take into account the space you have.
HTC Vive & Oculus Rift: Benefit Focus: Interactability, high fidelity & online multiplayer feature Space: 5 square meters (with a 2 square meter buffer)
Technical Requirements: Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350. Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290. RAM: 4GB (Minimum). USB: One USB port A 2.0. Operating System: Windows 7 or better. Video Output: HDMI 1.4 or Display Port 1.2 (Only One required).
Oculus Qwest & Vive Focus: Benefit Focus: Interactability, high fidelity & online multiplayer feature Space: 5 square meters (with a 2 square meter buffer)
Technical Requirements: None
Gear VR and Google Cardboard: Benefit Focus: Intractability, high fidelity & online multiplayer feature Space: 2 square meters
Technical Requirement: Depending on the equipment you use you will need to do research on the required phone for the equipment you are using. Below is a link for information on how to use the Samsung Gear VR: https://www.unlockunit.com/blog/samsung-gear-vr-compatible-phones/
Create or Purchase Contents
When it comes to content you have three choices: You can either create your own contents from scratch using systems such as Unity, purchase existing contents from marketplaces or from individual companies, or use a Content Creation Tool that makes online content creation easy. Below we describe these three different options in more details.
Develop from Scratch
To develop your contents from scratch you can either do it yourself or utilize a software development company to create your contents. The advantages of this is that you can create the content exactly how you would want that content to be created. However, this comes at a high cost and can take lots of time to be created properly.
Purchase Existing Contents
You can purchase existing contents from different marketplaces such as the Viveport or other third-party marketplaces. However, this comes with the issue that the contents you purchase may not fit exactly on your needs. Moreover, if you require the data to be collected during practice sessions most contents do not offer a means for collecting data.
Use a Content Creation Tool
A happy middleway between purchasing existing contents and developing your own contents from scratch is to use a Content Creation Tool. This can be much quicker than developing your own contents from scratch and more customizable than purchasing existing lessons. However, the drawback to this is that you will need to learn how to use the Content Creation Tool to create and distribute the content yourself. The difficulty of doing this can range depending on the Platform that you use.
Note: We provide all three forms of gaining content at our company and thus we can help you with either choice you choose.
Develop from Scratch
When developing your contents from scratch you want to start by listing out the flow of what you want to happen. Start by using your objectives for the end of the lesson and then write each individual step that needs to take place in the environment. Once you have this, create an outline of all the necessary elements that would not need to be included in order to achieve your objectives. These elements can be what type of environment is necessary, what things need to be inside of the contents, or if you would need custom sounds to increase fidelity. After creating this basic outline you will be able to utilize this information to select what type of experience you want to give. This can be 360 videos, rendered VR, or AR to name a few.
Find Contents to Purchase
When looking for contents online to purchase you can use several different sites that may be able to help you to achieve your goals. Currently, contents are sparse on the Internet so we would recommend that you would use VR/AR marketplaces that have functions for forms where you can learn how others have used the contents in the past. This will help you to understand how you can use it in your curriculum based on your goals. Lastly, speaking with others will allow you to get an understanding of new potential use cases you can explore within your curriculum.
Content Creation Platform
Using Content Creation Platforms will allow you to easily create contents without need to know how to code. These Content Creation Platforms can be simple or difficult to use depending upon the provider you select. Typically, there are online platforms that VR can be created by simply selecting the assets that are available online and creating your environment using these assets. It is worth noting that this can significantly reduce the development time as well as at the same time increase the amount of customizability that you can do with in an educational environment. Google search will allow you to find such platforms and you will be able to select the best platform that offers the features you need while at the same time allowing user-friendly development of contents.
Connect to Your Data Collection System or LMS
Digital Learning Intergration
To integrate the courses that you have available you only need to utilize xAPI systems. These systems will allow you to connect your VR/AR contents directly to your LMS (Learning Management System). Depending on how you receive the lessons you may or may not have the ability to do this easily. The major Learning Management Systems support xAPI and thus the completion time and other data sets can be collected from the VR/AR lessons and sent directly to your LMS.
The Experience API (or xAPI) is a new specification for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences a person has (online and offline). The xAPI captures data in a consistent format about person’s or group’s activities from many different technologies. Different systems are able to securely communicate by capturing and sharing this stream of activities using xAPI’s simple vocabulary.
Previous specifications were difficult and had limitations, but the xAPI is simple and flexible. It lifts many of the older restrictions. Mobile learning, simulations, virtual worlds, serious games, real-world activities, experiential learning, social learning, offline learning, and collaborative learning are just some of the things that can now be recognized and communicated well with the xAPI.
Keep in mind that at SimLabIT we have the Platform that can also connect to your existing Learning Management System in order to deliver the data that you are looking for.
Educate Your Staff and Students
Making sure that your staff is educated on how to utilize the equipment that you have acquired is extremely important. You should start by creating a list of protocols that you would like to follow when people are in the simulation lab similar to the protocols that you would follow in any other simulation lab.
Secondly, you should request manuals and information on how to create, utilize, and distribute contents that you were looking to use in simulations. This will allow you to make everything that you do in a more efficient way.
It is worth noting how important it is to get your staff to like the concept and help to create these new processes so that there is no confusion on how to utilize the simulation lab. Moreover, you will need to create a training session to go through all of these required bullet points described in this guide with your staff so that they understand all the elements of the simulation lab.
Lastly, once you have done your training sessions, a repository of information should be made available in order to allow for the newly trained staff members to refer to.