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Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Devices

This guide will highlight applications of Virtual Reality for potential classroom use.

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift is a Virtual Reality system built for complete immersion.  Powered through a computer, explore everything from the ocean to an art museum all the way across the world with the Oculus Rift.  Oculus Rift provides a 360 degree sense of reality, enabling the perfect environment for users to be transported to anywhere you can imagine.  Current apps available allow the users to explore deep space, walk with dinosaurs, and learn about the neolithic age.  Check it out to explore some of the options available.


Oculus Rift headset Oculus logo


Available at the Tech Desk.

Virtual Reality Apps

Google Cardboard

Created for Google Cardboard, this app is a great way to orient users to using VR on their smartphones.  In addition to the cornerstone "Google Cardboard" app, there are plenty of other free apps that will work, through all app stores.

Google Cardboard logo


A VR 360 degree video app, Within opens up the opportunities for users to explore different virtual reality environments and works across multiple platforms.  Within is available through STEAM, app stores, and as a web experience.

Within logo

HTC Vive

HTC Vive

HTC Vive is a virtual reality system that uses a combination of visual immersion with input from your surroundings.  Equipped with two handheld controllers and two room sensors, the Vive maps the room that you are playing in and adapts the gaming environment to coincide with those parameters.  Assisted by top notch graphics, do everything from learn survival and engineering skills to creating 3D artwork in real time.  The HTC Vive is a comprehensive, exciting way to experience virtual reality!


HTC Vive headset



Microsoft Hololens

Microsoft Hololens

The Microsoft Hololens is an augmented reality device that combines the surroundings of the user with holographic content.  The Hololens scans the room you are in and then uses that information to interact with graphics from the apps. Created as a stand alone headset, the Hololens has a built in app store which features the original developer applications.  While currently in development, the Hololens is already showing its potential for impact on the real world, from construction apps to an app that allows the recreation of a crime scene.  The Hololens’ augmented reality is the perfect way to apply real life elements to our surroundings.


Microsoft Hololens Hololens in action



Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard turns a smartphone into virtual reality goggles. Useful for learning the foundations of virtual reality, the simplicity of Google Cardboard makes it possible for everyone to enjoy, no matter their tech skills.  Learn about everything from the space program to other cultures.  Google Cardboard allows the user to explore the moon or Paris right from the comfort of home, simply by downloading an app.  Check out all of the possibilities of Google Cardboard.

  Cardboard logo

Leap Motion

Leap Motion

Leap Motion is a computer hardware sensor device that connects to a computer and uses hand and finger motions instead of a mouse.  It is a great system that enables the user to enter a virtual environment without the distraction of a headset.  The Leap Motion provides an intuitive and immersive opportunity to explore in all three dimensions, while maintaining the benefit of a hands on experience.  Leap Motion can be used to explore chemistry, dissection, anatomy, and space models.

Leap motion in action


 Leap Motion logo

Image credits

Microsoft Hololens demo: By Microsoft Sweden (win10-HoloLens-Minecraft) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft Hololens: Jorge Figueroa, via Flickr

Oculus Rift: By Ats Kurvet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, logo:

HTC Vive: by Maurizio Pesce via Flickr.

Google Cardboard: Google Developers

Leap Motion: Leap Motion company