The Learning Curve: Spherical Technology in Education

Earlier this month we were selected to participate as a contributing artist in an amazing upcoming educational event here in Toronto called the TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace. This event runs through the March Break and is put together as a fun learning opportunity for kids, families and educators. Installations from Canadian and international media artists feature learning-centric video games, robotics, mobile apps, hands-on activities and workshops.

Something we’ve noticed about our technology is that it seems to be shockingly intuitive for younger generations when compared to adults. As soon as we put a spherical image in front of a child their immediate reaction is to begin exploring the content. Whereas, adults seem to stare right at the image, waiting for an indicator that encourages them to touch and play.

Our contribution to the TIFF event was quite simple; we loaded some spherical content into our pilot mobile app for iOS (provided by TIFF). An iPad was projected onto a larger screen and iPhones were inserted into two head-mounted devices for a virtual reality immersive experience.

This event has sparked some thinking for us around the applications of spherical technology in the education sector. I spoke briefly about the topic with Dallas Kachan, VP Marketing at Edsby, a software company creating next generation learning management systems. A very interesting point he made was that education seems to be the last sector on the planet to adopt new technology although it is perhaps one that could most benefit from it. Technology could have a much larger role than it currently does in facilitating the learning process.

And while this generation of children, coined as “digital natives,” are most receptive to this format of learning the applications span a much broader user base.

Spherical technology for the creation of virtual content can enable a long list of educational use cases. Not the least of those including vocational experiences for teenagers learning about career paths, young drivers, simulation training in aviation and military, just to name a few.

Even more significant are the applications in industrial use. Providing new hires with immersive experiences with environments and tools in a virtual way can save time and money in the onboarding process compared to traditional methods. This is likewise applicable in continued education and training of a workforce.

Accessibility of this technology will enable increasing adoption and we are very excited to see progress in this sector. If you happen to be in the city of Toronto over the coming weeks we encourage you to go and check out the TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace event. It runs from March 7th to April 19th and don’t miss our Bubl installation at the entrance to the artists section.

Joanna Taccone
Joanna Taccone


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