Ah, how time has flown!
As the end of the school year approaches, we are hard at work preparing our research for a TED-style presentation on stage at the end of the month, in order to reveal our research to the community.
The presentation will be held on Tuesday May 30th, 2017 at 7:00pm.
If you are interested in attending and have not received an invitation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see you there!
Recently we applied for the Vive Tracker Development Kit program. Unfortunately, we were refused, although we were awarded a 10% off coupon for the new product.
This product is extremely cool, as it allows the user to integrate real world objects into VR by simply mounting the tracker to an object. For example, you could attach the tracker to a baseball bat, which would in turn import the bat into virtual reality.
A mind-blowing feature of the device is that you can use it with a camera, to put yourself into mixed reality videos. It is difficult for me to fathom how it will work with a camera, but nevertheless, it is exciting!
We have a lot of experimentation to do...
Since we have had ample time to experiment with our ReliefBands, I thought it may be appropriate to share our experiences with the device.
Julia: When I used ReliefBand for VR, I wasn't overcome with motion sickness like I typically am in a specific simulation. I truly feel it worked very well.
Bryan: When I went to Walt Disney World on the Senior class trip, I brought a ReliefBand to remedy motion sickness after riding rollercoasters. It was amazing, I did not get sick once.
Harris: I don't normally get motion sickness in VR, but I put on the ReliefBand during sessions to determine its effects and was pleasantly surprised. VR can definitely get uncomfortable when used for extended periods of time. I found my headspace(no headache, less strain) was noticeably improved when I used the ReliefBand.
We plan to bring along our ReliefBands when we present virtual reality to an English class and to the students we plan to demonstrate the HTC Vive with. Us three are relatively used to the experience VR can convey, so it will be useful to have these devices for those who have never used VR before.
Today we were visited by Christine Fonock-Smith, the Product Manager of ReliefBand. Prior to her visit we had prepared several questions, but upon her arrival we were suprised to see her bearing three ReliefBands for E.V.R.T. to use. Thank you for this generous donation ReliefBand!
We began to discuss the history of ReliefBand, its various uses for motion sickness, morning sickness, and virtual reality. Christine ran us through operation of the device and how it works.
We had an informative discussion with Christine, and we cannot wait to put our ReliefBands to use!
There was an energy missing from H003 during the past week. Today Mr. Boyer and three research teams returned from the International Science conference at St. Paul's School in London. We are glad to have NAS Tek, NET, and Innovo back in the lab. Congratulations to all!
Also, NAS Tek took the top award of the whole conference for the best presentation! Way to represent North Penn High School!
If you'd like to read an extended report of their trip, follow the link below.
Today we say goodbye to Mr.Boyer in addition to NET, Innovo, and NAS Tek. They will be spending the week in London, culminating with participation in a research conference located at St. Paul's School in London.
EVRT is not just left to twiddle our thumbs.
Recently, the existence of a company specializing in motion sickness remedy was brought to EVRT's attention. They make wearable technology to alleviate all kinds of motion sickness, including experiences within VR. They are located extremely close to North Penn High School, so we contacted them.
We have a meeting with a representative of ReliefBand in a few weeks. That gives us lots of time to prepare a sickness-inducing demonstration for their product. There is a link to their website below.
Lately, EVRT has dedicated focus in creating a blueprint for our simulation. We have storyboards, outlines, and other instruction to guide us through the process of creation in Unreal Engine 4.
Also, we have been experimenting with various versions of different surgery and health care simulations.
Our simulation is beginning to take shape!
As if our research hasn't been exciting enough, last Friday was Engineer's Day at NPHS. The entire Engineering Academy took a break from normal class scheduling to have the opportunity to talk to real engineering students and graduates. It was useful to get a chance to speak to real professionals of the engineering field. We attended lectures, participated in activities, and reinforced tenants of engineering we all heard on a daily basis. They encouraged us to "Dream Big" in the face of the world's immense possibilities, but also mentioned the Engineer's commitment to the improvement of society as a whole. This made me think of the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenges, and our own VR research. The difference we would make would be the advancement of personal learning through the use of virtual reality. It was helpful to be refocused on the true purpose of our research.
In other news, all EDD students received a letter of recognition from Senator Mensch. It is an honor to be acknowledged for our hard work.
I also found a video of Bill Gates talking about the Engineering Grand Challenges, which is included below...
Here is a link to the Knight Crier's article of Senator Mensch's visit:
A few days ago we had the opportunity to meet with Mrs.Kelley. We are excited to have the opportunity to perform our research alongside her instruction! Mrs.Kelley is an educator at North Penn High School teaching various subject matter. Our research aligns with her Emergency Care and Anatomy courses, which have gaping (no pun intended) potential in VR. Our simulation will be focused on wounds and wound maintenance. Currently we are sketching rough outlines of scenarios within our simulation, concurrently designing our simulation within Unreal Engine 4. There are lots of moving parts involved towards the achievement of our goal. Creating a simulated reality from scratch using a computer is exceedingly difficult.
Mrs.Kelley also provided us with some materials including a chest full of fake wounds. We can 3D scan these to avoid the meticulous detail of designing each and every part within our simulation from scratch.
Yesterday, H003 was packed. Occupying the capacity of our research laboratory was Senator Mensch, North Penn Television(NPTV), various administration, and the superintendent of North Penn School District, Dr. Dietrich. Everyone was filled with excitement and inquiry into our various research endeavors. When the Senator came over to our corner we spoke about current virtual reality applications, such as military training, healthcare, etc. Lots of cameras were pointed my way, but all of my time spent in VR allowed me to discuss our research unhindered by the overabundance of screens. I also showed him the Google Cardboard, which I explained occupied a particular niche in the integration of VR with education due to its ease of use and affordable price tag. I told him that education was the next big development in VR application, despite few companies (such as Google) capitalizing on this nascent potential.
Soon, Dr. Dietrich walked over to speak with Bryan and I regarding our research. I brought up the ubiquity of distraction in the classroom. I was speaking from experience, and so it was easy to get my point across. The entirety of education was laden with electronic distraction, so what if that distraction could be harvested and put to better use? Our goal was to take advantage of our generation's technological crutch, and teach them through the very devices which always seemed to occupy our attention. If we could educate students experientially through an immersive simulation, the learning possibilities were endless.
We were happy to see our interest in VR reciprocated by others, and gladly demonstrated the HTC Vive to both Dr. Dietrich and Senator Mensch!
I showed up on a Saturday to get some extra time experimenting with Unreal Engine 4. It was much easier to make progress without the constraints of bells or schedules. Weather conditions prohibited us from attending our meeting on 2/9 so we rescheduled for the middle of this week. Until then, we need lots of preparation in order to deploy our simulation successfully.
I spent some time in Virtual Reality looking at applications similar to our focus area. I glanced at the Virtual Fine Arts Museum which received some new additions. I viewed Claude Monet's Water Lilies. The art I saw looked better than any I've seen in Virtual Reality before. I took a look at A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by George Seurat. When I stepped up close to the painting, I could see the dots that the artist used to create the painting in the style of Pointillism. Today, I was really impressed by the power of Virtual Reality, and the realistic experiences it can convey.
Our experimentation with Google Cardboard continues.