Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality Photography: Pexels, Pixabay.

Imagine that you are reading Shakespeare in the library, and Macbeth pops up from your book. He sits with you at the library desk, whispers to you about his ambition and fear. Isn’t this awesome? Augmented reality adds interactive items to your current environment. It can be applied to glasses, goggles or computer screens. In the popular game Pokemon Go, you encounter pokemons in a hallway or on a sidewalk, and you can fight with them.

Virtual Reality

When you put on a pair of VR goggles, you will find yourself sitting in a tropical rainforest or flying a helicopter above Manhattan. Virtual reality blocks you from your current environment and provides an immersive experience of a whole-new world. You can move around and look at everything from different perspectives.

Virtual reality is a versatile technology that has been applied but not limited to: gaming, touring, real estate, creative design, industry simulation, and assessment. As a teaching tool, virtual reality has been widely used in medical school. With pre-made VR videos, students can practice diagnosis or surgery with digital devices. Virtual reality is also a powerful tool of 3D modeling and graphic design.

360° Videos

With the arrangement of multiple cameras, a 360-degree space can be easily covered. 360 videos share a lot in common with virtual reality. The main difference between 360 videos and virtual reality is that you can move freely in virtual reality but can only move with the camera in 360 videos.


Simulation technology uses computer software and hardware to model experimental systems. It provides immersive situations and experiences for experiment and training.

  • Funded by SUNY IITG, a simulated classroom has been built in University at Buffalo. Education researchers can simulate real classroom scenarios, which can be used for teachers to study student’s behavior and develop their teaching methods. 
    Simulated classroom at University of Buffalo
  • Medical schools have been using simulation technology for health care training. In a simulation center, students practice their skills facing different simulated scenarios.
    Behling Simulation Center at University of Buffalo

Virtual labs

With simulation technology, some experiment results can be obtained by software. These virtual labs are widely used in STEM distant learning. Students can learn basic lab skills and do research on their own computer.