Discover what possibilities Mixed Reality can offer education

Come along on an adventure with the Microsoft Hololens.

Microsoft’s latest technological innovation, the HoloLens, offers unique opportunities for teaching and education in general. The discovery of effective uses for these mixed reality glasses is still in full process and the availability of practical apps in the Windows Store is still limited, but that will change rapidly. The HoloLens is here to stay.

When using the HoloLens, virtual reality and augmented reality meet in a whole new world. Which is exactly what makes the HoloLens unique as opposed to virtual reality glasses that cover your whole view. With the HoloLens you still experience your surroundings, but with holographic projections and visualisations from an — possibly new — interactive world.

This combination of real surroundings (context) and new virtual models (content), offers unprecedented possibilities to learn. New ideas and concepts can be tested without having to build physical products or situations. Learning faster while limiting the risks, that is what it’s about.

Learning faster
The HoloLens offers more than just entertainment. New virtual content in an existing environment is easily stored and remembered in the brain. The context is conveyed more powerfully than is possible with a textbook, iPad app or website.

Just like a visit to a museum can make an impression on young people, a 3D projection of works of art can do the same, especially with added audio & video content. At the least it will save them the tiring bus journey.

Expert information (data) can be translated to a virtual 3D environment such as holograms of people, animals, buildings etc. This is what makes learning with the HoloLens really scalable. Just think about what mixed reality could do with a standard career aptitude test. Instead of filling in a questionnaire, you could actually join the professionals and see what it’s like to be a doctor, an engineer, a pilot or a fire fighter yourself. Then think about how it would reduce the cost to society if more young people could make the right decision about their future.

We are currently developing this idea into a HoloLens App prototype in close collaboration with Windesheim and our partner Winvision.

Digital Storytelling
Working out possible scenarios — together with potential users and experts with regard to content — is an excellent starting point to discover the possibilities of the HoloLens. Zoom in on the actual issues regarding the transfer of knowledge and unique applications will surface.

That is, when everyone is prepared to think outside the box. Star Trek’s Holodeck is closer than you think. There are almost no limits when designing applications for the HoloLens, except of course, the limitations of budget and knowledge to build apps.

Where to begin?
Investment in a HoloLens app can mount up quite rapidly because of the 3D component. Which is why it is important to first calculate what the possible value is of the scenarios and the imagined solutions you devised. If the value is high, the investment will turn out better. Especially when an app can be used worldwide and across education. So scalability is an important criterion.

For both healthcare and education, Microsoft already shows several demos, such as the (virtual) dissection of the human body. It is Microsoft’s goal to share this technology with partners and developers all over the world and to inspire healthcare and educational institutions with the impact mixed reality can have on our future.

Would you like to find out quickly what the opportunities and possibilities are for using Mixed Reality and the HoloLens within your institution or organisation? Come along with us on an adventure.