Facebook Debuts Big Oculus Educational VR Push in Seattle, Taiwan, and Japan
Facebook is bringing its Oculus virtual reality technology to schools, libraries, and museums in Seattle, Taiwan, and Japan.
Oculus, Facebook’s VR-unit, said in Tuesday that it its “Oculus Education pilot programs” are intended to “better understand how teachers, students, and various institutions can use VR for learning and collaboration.”
In Seattle, Oculus said it is partnering with a few Seattle public schools to develop an educational program intended to teach high school students how to create VR content “with the goal that it can eventually be used in the classroom.” It’s also partnering with the educational non-profit TAF on an initiative intended to train teachers on how to use VR in their classrooms.
Oculus said it plans to debut a separate test project in Japan intended exploring the possibility of educators teaching students living in remote users with the help of VR.
In Taiwan, Oculus said it would send an unspecified number of Rift and Oculus Go VR headsets to the Taiwan Internet and E-Commerce Association, which will then distribute the devices to different libraries and museums.
“Each institution will determine how best to use VR in their community and how to build programs around VR,” Oculus said in a statement.
Underscoring the big educational VR push, is Oculus’ need to learn more compelling ways people can use VR outside of video games.
Although companies like Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG) have been spending a lot of money on their individual VR projects, the technology has yet to catch on with mainstream consumers. That’s likely one reason these companies are partnering with museums and other institutes on VR-related projects intended to show the public what’s possible in VR.
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HTC said last summer, for example, that it partnered with the Tate Modern gallery in London on a VR exhibit involving the work of artist Amedeo Clemente Modigliani.