Rather than being physical simulators, these systems
generate visualizations of three-dimensional objects and immersive environments
that users can interact with using a variety of devices.
The technologies have rapidly matured over the past two years and continue to quickly evolve.
Instead of being physically tethered to high-power computers, the next generation
of devices will be stand-alone with integrated processors, or units that are capable
of connecting to mobile phones to provide the computational might.
This fundamental design change will further aid in promoting VR/AR/MR, allowing students to participate with devices they already own.
This will reduce costs for educational institutions and
re-define what a simulation laboratory is and how it is structured.
Several different approaches exist including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) from companies such as Samsung, Oculus and Microsoft. Virtual reality is currently the most prevalent and affordable.
VR fully immerses the user allowing for a completely novel perspective.
Two practical uses of this technology include 360 degree video and virtual models.
Cameras such as the Samsung Gear 360 and Ricoh Theta capture video in all directions, giving learners the ability to explore an experience as if they were physically present.
Virtual models and simulations, created from scratch or from CT/MR data, can be viewed in an immersive, web-based environment such as Sketchfab.
As these solutions continue to evolve, educators will be able to harness their potential to create high-fidelity simulation experiences for students Vet and veterinarian .