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Memory Recall and the Role of Virtual Reality

It’s no secret that humans have been using technology to help recall information for thousands of years. That technology has evolved from mere paper and pen to a world dominated by digital media, and standing at the pinnacle is virtual reality (VR). Most of us may know VR as a medium to play games or enjoy 3-D video experiences, but the academic community has now recognized its vast educational applications, specifically when discussing the way we recall our information. Over the course of the last few decades, researchers around the world have conducted studies on a wide range of participants to assess the viability of VR as a tool for improved memory recall. To understand the educational and social applications of VR, we need to first understand how our brains normally process and recall information.

Introduction to Memory Recall

The human brain is responsible for a variety of memory recall functions, two of which are recognition and recall. Memory recognition is the sensation you might receive when cramming for a test. Controlled by the visual cortex, it allows us to essentially flag information in our brain so that we recognize it the next time we see it. Recall on the other hand is supported by a different network of synapses in the brain including the temporal lobe and the frontal cortex, which allow us to recreate specific memories. The brain uses a process called “encoding” to store all of this information so that we can have it readily accessible when we need it. The only way for this encoding process to work and move what we’ve learned from short-term memory to long-term memory is to strengthen our neural pathways. We can do that through repetition and the combination of a variety of stimuli such as sight and sound, which is where VR comes in.

Improving Memory Recall

In a study conducted by Eric Krokos, Catherine Plaisant, and Amitabh Varshney, researchers explored the effectiveness of learning in a VR-based environment compared to a traditional platform such as a desktop computer. Participants were fully immersed into a “memory palace”, where they were measured on their ability to recall objects based on the virtual locations. The purpose of this example was to target the way in which the brain spatially organizes memories in an unknown environment. 

It was concluded that participants consistently had 10% higher memory recall ability while using a head mounted display (HMD) in virtual reality. The ability to combine the multiple stimuli in a 3-D space allowed participants to create their own virtual experiences, converting both their recognition and recall of the events into their long-term memory more effectively than those who did not utilize VR. The lived-in experience of a VR environment proved to be a more effective catalyst for encoding as the participants were able to ingest information as if they were experiencing the events in real time.

Due to the fact that younger generations are becoming more accustomed to this virtual world, educators are looking for opportunities to engage with their students and improve their cognitive learning processes. Based on a study from George Papanastasiou, Athanasios Drigas, Charalabos Skianis, Miltiadis Lytras and Effrosyni Papanastasiou, researchers concluded that VR applications provide an effective tool to enhance learning and memory, as they provide immersed multimodal environments enriched by multiple sensory features. Students between K-12 and even through the collegiate level experienced digital-age literacy, improved creative thinking, communication, collaboration and problem solving ability. These are the cornerstone skills identified by a twenty-first century society that helps students analyze and experience their information.

Incorporating the HistoryView VR tours into classrooms have allowed students around the world to experience marvels such as the King Tut Museum and the rainforests of the Amazon. VR simply gives students the opportunity to explore their environments in a way that they have never been able to before. Having a chance to learn about a subject in a classroom setting and then having the ability to physically experience it is an invaluable way to learn. Reading about the battles that took place in the Roman Colosseum and then having a chance to walk through the ancient amphitheater through a VR tour is a way that HistoryView brings these locations to life. Being able to understand where these events took place and having the spatial reference allows students to commit their multi-pronged education to long term memory. This means that instead of having to simply memorize, students are actually able to learn and retain information.

VR tours are not only revolutionizing the educational landscape, the applications for our senior community are groundbreaking. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are two of the most common degenerative brain diseases that cause mild to severe memory impairment. Numerous neuropsychological assessments have been conducted over the years to measure the impact of various learning techniques on memory recall, one of which was done by G. Plancher, A. Tirad, V. Gyselinck, S. Nicolas, and P. Piolino. In their study, researchers targeted patients with moderate amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) diseases such as Alzheimer’s and attempted to determine whether the ability of their cognitive function and memory recall could be influenced by the type of memory exercise (VR vs standard). The study found that there was a direct correlation between a patient’s exposure into an immersive environment and their ability to encode information. Positive performance scores by their patients indicated that VR-based testing could be used for rehabilitation while also providing insight into early diagnosis.

We have been able to make the world a smaller place by bringing the beauty and culture of museums, art exhibits, national parks, and historical sites to users that would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience them. The accessibility of these virtual learning environmentsin a classroom is what makes HistoryView so unique. We allow our users to take interactive and engaging tours of historical landmarks within the comfort and ease of their preferred environment. 

It’s safe to say that scholars, educators, and users all agree that the application of VR in an educational setting are overwhelmingly positive. The question still stands as to whether or not VR does in fact assist with memory recall. If the data has proven anything, the answer is unequivocally yes. The integration of VR into the educational field and for our senior citizens has proven to have widespread applications. We take great pride in being able to help educate and benefit our users through our VR platform.


 

Citations

Krokos, Eric, et al. “Virtual Memory Palaces: Immersion Aids Recall.” Virtual Reality : the Journal of the Virtual Reality Society, vol. 23, no. 1, Springer London, 2018, pp. 1–15, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-018-0346-3.

Papanastasiou, G., Drigas, A., Skianis, C. et al. Virtual and augmented reality effects on K-12, higher and tertiary education students’ twenty-first century skills. Virtual Reality 23, 425–436 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-018-0363-2

Plancher, G., et al. “Using Virtual Reality to Characterize Episodic Memory Profiles in Amnestic Mild Cognitive 

​Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease: Influence of Active and Passive Encoding.” Neuropsychologia, 

Pergamon, 13 Jan. 2012, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028393211005586

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Guest Blog: Do virtual tours add value to children’s education?

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Virtual tours are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Many organizations, as well as companies, are opting for a virtual tour. However, are virtual tours helpful in children’s education as well? Do they add any value to children’s education?

We will answer these questions and justify our answers as well.

Do virtual tours add value to children’s education?

Yes, Virtual tours add good value to children’s education. They do so in multiple ways, as mentioned below: 

1. Interactive experience

Usual classroom teaching can soon become monotonous for children. You need something that grasps their attention and commands it consistently as well.

With virtual tours, there is always something new to explore. That’s why you can gain children’s attention and ensure that they are fully involved throughout the virtual tour.

The interactive experience such virtual tours provide, coupled with the ability to hold children’s interest, make them a necessity rather than an optional tool.

2. High accessibility

There are many field trips that you might want to take your students to. The problem is that the overall procedure to book a field trip and to organize everything is quite cumbersome.

Not only that, the place where you’re taking your students allows you on a particular date and time as well. There are numerous accessibility issues in organizing the field trip. 

However, there are no such issues while creating a virtual tour. That is because the filming, as well as surveying of the premises, is needed just once. Also, the surveying and the filming are done by professionals rather than 50 young students. That is why; gaining access to the premises is undoubtedly easy.

Thus, the high accessibility that virtual tours provide is another reason they can add enormous value to children’s education.

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

3. Less cost

While organizing a field trip, you have to arrange transportation, food, guides, and so on. You have to do so for every student on the field trip. The cost can quickly scale up, and you might have to pay a hefty amount for the entire field trip.

Comparatively, you need to spend a small amount on creating a virtual tour just once. You can use that virtual tour for as long as you want.

When you go with a company that is the market leader in creating virtual tours like The Red Marker, you can get a virtual tour designed not only at affordable cost but with excellent quality as well. It could save you a lot of time and money as well.

4. No safety concerns

Have you tried managing a crowd of children on a busy floor? If yes, you would know how much of a hassle it is. Not only that, you have to ensure that every child remains safe.

This requires a lot of effort, planning, and constant monitoring. This is what you have to handle when you take children on a field trip.

On the flip side, when you opt for virtual tours, children can have similar experiences from the safety of their classrooms. Not only that, the teacher can focus on explaining the various parts of the tour rather than worrying about the safety of the children.

Isn’t this a great way in which virtual tours can add value to children’s education?

You bet!

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

5. Time-saving

Even if the field website is just 20 miles away, the entire field trip will still take a day. Moreover, the planning required will be of weeks as well. It means that conducting a field trip is quite time-consuming.

Virtual tours, on the other hand, are created by experts. You have to play them in the classroom. That’s why, if the virtual tour is of 2 hours, you would hardly need 2 hours in total, including planning and preparation.

It means that you can cover multiple such virtual tours in the same amount of time, which will enhance children’s learning experience.

6. Can work as a prep

Did you know that virtual tours and actual field trips can work in conjunction as well? As we have highlighted above, in a real field trip, the teacher has to monitor the children and explain the various parts of the virtual tour. However, due to juggling multiple things at once, the teacher might not cover everything. 

Children might not be able to grasp everything in real-time as well. This is where virtual tours can come in handy. With the help of virtual tours, you can easily explain the basics of the field trip to the children in advance. 

Once they know the basics, they will be more curious to explore the various parts of the site when they get there. In a way, the virtual tour can also work as a prep for the actual field trip for children.

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

7. More inclusive experience

Even with your best efforts, some children might not be able to participate in the field trip. However, in virtual tours, all the children can easily take part. It means that virtual tours provide a more inclusive experience for children.

8. Wide range of field trips possible

Teachers truly understand the importance of field trips. That is why they try and organize as many of them as they can. However, some sites are simply inaccessible for field trips.

The problem is, what should you do then? The answer is virtual tours. For example, even with the best efforts, it is impossible to get a field trip on the Air force one, is it?

However, History View offers a virtual tour of the Air Force One.

Similarly, History View offers a virtual tour of the Air Ambulance Eurocopter ec135

The point is, virtual tours make a wide range of field trips possible right from the comfort of the classroom. This is one of the primary reasons why virtual tours can add enormous value to children’s education.

So, yes, virtual tours do add value to children’s education. They do so in numerous ways. When you understand the potential of virtual tours, you will find they are a necessity rather than an additional tool.

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Case Study: Northfield Public Schools Monitors Construction and Showcases New Buildings Safely and Remotely with Matterport

Minnesota has long been a leader in public education with many school districts earning top marks compared to other districts across the United States. Northfield Public Schools, located less than an hour from Minneapolis–Saint Paul, is no exception and ranks as one of the state’s best.

The community recently decided it wanted to replace Greenvale Park Elementary, a school built in the early 1970s, with a more modern structure better suited to serving the needs of today’s teachers and students. At the same time, the school district decided to consolidate its early childhood program since the licensed daycare, early childhood family education, early childhood special education, and preschool buildings were dispersed across multiple sites.

“We wanted to provide a world-class early childhood education experience in one facility to benefit our families and the entire community,” says Northfield Public Schools Superintendent Matt Hillmann. “We knew we could serve the community better with everything under one roof.”

The district hired Minneapolis-based Knutson Construction, which specializes in both education and health care facilities, to build the new school and the community buildings. All was going well, but then COVID-19 struck when construction was only half-finished and the inability to visit the site threatened its completion.

Unexpected Ways to Collaborate and Share

Thanks to Matterport, Northfield Public Schools was able to collaborate with Knutson to complete the job during the pandemic and plans to use it to improve review processes on future projects as well.

Knutson Construction used Matterport Pro2 cameras to continuously capture the project’s progress so that Northfield’s stakeholders could remotely monitor job sites in 3D anytime from anywhere. “Matterport allowed us to share progress with board members, our leadership team, and others as the building was constructed,” says Hillmann. “Many people were unable to tour the site because of the pandemic but needed to see what was happening. The feedback was terrific.”

Since Knutson recaptured all 90,000 square feet of the facility once construction finished, Northfield plans to use the scans to showcase the new buildings to the broader community.

We haven’t been able to have a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony or bring our community members through the school,” Hillmann says, “but the Matterport scan will allow us to have a virtual open house and bring the new school safely into people’s living rooms so they can experience it without risk of illness.

The district also plans to share the Matterport scans with local law enforcement and emergency personnel. That way, they’ll know what the buildings look like in advance in case they need to enter a building during an emergency, which is critical, for example, if halls are filled with smoke.

A Time Capsule with X-Ray Vision

Because scans of buildings were done throughout construction, Hillmann expects the Matterport scans to come in handy even after the facility is fully operational. “The ability to see what is inside the walls is incredibly helpful,” Hillmann says. His teams will know exactly where water pipes, electrical lines, and other elements are. They’ll also know whether or not they can drill a hole into a wall without creating a problem.

In addition, heating system leaks and plumbing problems will be easier to find. “I’m looking forward to having our custodians and maintenance staff use Matterport,” says Northfield Public Schools Director of Buildings and Grounds Jim Kulseth. “Having the flexibility to see what’s inside walls will help us prevent problems or at least address them sooner and minimize damage.”

The ability to view the facility’s construction over time won’t just be useful for maintenance teams. It also is valuable to the community, acting as a 3D yearbook for the building. “The Matterport scan provides a wonderful visual record for now and the future to see how the school might continue to evolve over the years to address changing needs.”

Recruiting Students and Staff

Matterport will help Northfield remotely showcase its schools even after the pandemic ends. Prospective employees from outside the area will be able to see where they’ll be working without having to travel long distances. “We can use the Matterport scan as a recruitment tool to show off the new facilities and get prospective employees excited,” Hillmann says.

Families considering a move to the area can benefit in precisely the same way. They’ll be able to virtually tour their children’s next school just as Northfield’s parents did during the coronavirus pandemic. “We see the Matterport scan as an effective, flexible way to promote our school district and give prospective families an experience that feels almost as real as being there,” Hillmann says.

ABOUT NORTHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Northfield Public Schools serves Northfield, Minnesota, a city of around 20,000 people less than an hour south of Minneapolis–Saint Paul. Ranked the thirteenth-best school district in the state, it serves the community with three elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and an alternative high school. It also sponsors a number of charter schools.
https://northfieldschools.org/

HEADQUARTERS
Northfield, Minnesota

INDUSTRY
Education

CHALLENGE
Create accurate 3D scans of construction projects to monitor progress during the pandemic and give virtual tours to the community.

PRODUCTS
Matterport Pro2

SOLUTION
Matterport creates immersive 3D digital spaces that can be visited and explored remotely, anytime from anywhere.

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Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Multicultural Artists Examine Forgiveness, Identity, and Heritage | November 6, 2020

Based in Lower Manhattan, New York, apexart is a non-profit arts organization with a mission to challenge our notions of culture, art, exhibitions, and curation. Featuring emerging and established artists alike, its seasoned curators select some of the most striking and thought-provoking works of today.

This Fall, the “Elongated Shadows” exhibition with work by artists Kei Ito, Migiwa Orimo, Azumi O E, Suzanne Hodes, Andrew Paul Keiper, and Air Beser, winners of apexart’s juried Open Calls program. A poignant multimedia collection examining the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, each piece explores the facets of the horrific event. The work delves in from the view of the Americans who designed and detonated the bombs, the impact on those who fell victim to the attacks, and the trauma inherited by younger generations.

Lisa Vagnoni, web director at apexart, talks a bit about the creation of the Matterport 3D tour of this exhibition, and its role in sharing and educating in a greater context. “Elongated Shadows” is viewable at apexart until October 24, 2020 by private showing, admitting one person or part at a time.

Q: What inspired the 3D capture of the “Elongated Shadows” exhibition?

After the pandemic hit, and it became clear many spaces were going to limit in-person access to their exhibitions, we wanted to find a way to provide a more accessible virtual option, beyond the standard approach many galleries took in placing all the works on a webpage and calling that page an online exhibition. The 3D capture allows a degree of exploration and engagement that is not otherwise possible on a scrolling webpage and feels a bit funkier and more interesting than a fully computer-generated virtual space.

Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?

In addition to the actual works captured for the Matterport space, we have included all the supplemental content you would have access to in the real gallery, like the dual-language brochure, checklist, related events, and a donation link; in addition to some that you wouldn’t, like video interviews with the curator and artists. In expanding upon the content included in the exhibition like this, we hope that visitors will be encouraged to take a deep dive into the themes explored. As a non-profit educational arts organization, these tools help us expand upon a robust learning element in our exhibitions.

Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring “Elongated Shadows”?

The topic of the exhibition may appear to be pretty far removed from what is going on in the world today. We hope that in exploring the myriad viewpoints of artists connected to the development of the bombs, and third-generation survivors of the bombings, visitors will be prompted to reflect on themes of forgiveness, identity, and heritage.

Q: You’ve included some audio clips via Mattertag for some of the pieces. How does this added sensory piece help bring the piece to life in the 3D tour?

The piece Afterimage Requiem by Kei Ito and Andrew Paul Keiper is a combination visual and audio piece, with Ito creating the prints and Keiper creating the audio, and these elements are intended to be experienced in tandem like this, as you would hear its sound while viewing the prints in the real gallery space. Just like in the exhibition space itself, when listening to the audio in the Matterport, one feels transported to the different locations where Keiper did field recordings for the work.

Q: The gallery viewing of this exhibition was delayed due to Covid-19. How did you cope with the uncertainty?

We took it one week at a time and adjusted our public communication as new information for New York City developed. And in line with the city’s reopening plan, we have expanded from online-only to combination online-and-in-person with cautionary measures in place. Initially, it was a question of trusting the shutdown to do its thing and lead to a reduction in cases, and we just had to get creative in adapting the exhibitions and programming to online in order to wait out that period. There was a lot of faith, innovation, and improvisation involved.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

We encourage all of our Matterport visitors to get the full online experience of Elongated Shadows at apexart.org/faust.php, and anyone interested in applying as a curator for our next season to check out our Open Call at apexart.org/opencalls.html

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Bring on the Heat with a Virtual Fire Station Field Trip

While the grade school field trip to a fire station may be the most recent visit for many, The Duxbury Fire Department in Duxbury, Massachusetts has brought its fire station virtual and lets visitors experience what it’s like to be a first responder like never before. From a ride-along on the Duxbury brush truck, experiencing a real-life mud rescue and even looking at the extension of the 105-foot ladder from one of the station’s largest fire trucks, this experience is unbeatable.

A traditional fire department tour takes visitors through the station while showing off the fire engines and the importance of fire safety. With this Matterport 3D tour, the Duxbury Fire Station can be explored from anywhere, at any time to learn about the fire engines, rescue boats, ambulances and more.

While roaming the model, take a look at the Mattertags with videos and descriptions to get a true feel for the various equipment used for emergencies – you might get a more in-depth understanding about firefighting than if you were visiting in-person.

There is even the opportunity for young visitors to earn their junior firefighter certification, with a quest leading throughout the model to report findings to the captain. Find the quest on the Duxbury Fire Department website under education and download the Firefighter Quest PDF to start.

We spoke with the creator of this incredible virtual experience, Jessica Laaper, video photographer and web designer for J.Laaper Studios to learn what it was like to create the model.

Q: What inspired the 3D capture of the Duxbury Fire Station?

Since the start of Covid-19, many of the places that were once open to the public have been closed, causing some traditions to be put on hold. One of those time-tested traditions was our town’s annual fire department open house. Every year, the Duxbury Fire Department would open their doors to the community to learn about the firehouse, the fire and rescue apparatus and most importantly, fire prevention. Since the community can’t visit the firehouse this year, we thought we would bring the firehouse to them.

One of the critical functions of the Fire Department is to teach public safety and fire prevention. They do this through both the open house and in-school classroom curriculum, which due to Covid, could not be done either. Through the use of the Matterport model, we were able to “virtually re-open” the fire department and also integrate it into the virtual fire prevention school curriculum, making it a powerful education tool for public safety awareness and fire prevention.

Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?

When developing the Matterport model, we realized that a “virtual” visitor could do a few things in the model that they couldn’t normally do in-person. One of the most exciting is climbing on top of the ladder truck. The view down the center of the aerial ladder is amazing and is not something “in-person” visitors would normally be able to do.

Some other highlights from the Matterport Model is the brush truck which includes a “ride-along” video and Engine 2 which makes good use of Mattertags to describe the details of each of the apparatus compartments.

We have many Mattertags in the model which contain videos and “informational gems.”  Half of the excitement of the Duxbury Fire Station model is being able to explore all the additional content in pictures and videos. We have even created a “Firefighter Quest” for our younger visitors, which is similar to a scavenger hunt. In the quest, the children search for the answers in the model and once finished they email the quest to the Duxbury Fire Department to receive a personalized junior firefighter certificate.

Q: How will the model of the Duxbury Fire Station be used (first responder training, community virtual tours, etc.)?

The model will be used for community virtual tours and fire prevention education. Additionally, the models and Mattertags can be utilized as part of new firefighter education for equipment location/identification (Engine 2) as well as proper apparatus operation (Ladder 1).

Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring the Duxbury Fire Station?

The primary purpose of our model of the Duxbury Fire Station is education. We want all visitors to have a better appreciation for fire safety and prevention, understand what firefighters do, and some basics about how they help in an emergency.

But most of all, we want our visitors to learn and enjoy exploring the firehouse.

Q: What were some of the challenges of scanning such a unique space with all of the large engines, equipment, etc.?

There were two big challenges with scanning a complex space such as the apparatus bay. The first was capturing scans from multiple vantage points and heights. This meant climbing on top of all the trucks to collect the necessary scans to create a high-quality model. The other challenge was timing as scanning the apparatus bay took several hours and during that time the fire department received calls they needed the equipment for.  Each time we had to pause until the trucks were back and placed in exactly the same location.

Q: What was your favorite part about capturing the Duxbury Fire Station in 3D?

My favorite part of capturing the Duxbury Fire Station in 3D was learning about all of the trucks, equipment, and how firefighters use these tools to save lives and prevent loss.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

We invite you to visit the Duxbury Fire Department at http://duxburyfire.org to explore our virtual tour and to complete the quest.  In addition, we are expanding our public education to include the recently renovated “Next-Generation” Regional 911 center to help increase awareness of how the 911 system works.

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The Birthplace of the Automobile Revolution

Admire the Ingenuity that Forever Changed the Way We Move |

As the birthplace of the Ford Model T, the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant was the Ford Motor Company’s first factory where automobiles were manufactured and assembled. The very first 12,000 Model T cars were assembled here, then delivered by railroad. Ford Models B, C, F, K, R, and S were also assembled at the plant.

After the Ford Motor Company relocated in 1910, this stunning late Victorian style brick building with wooden post and beam frame was occupied by other Studebaker automobiles, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company and Cadillac. Almost doomed for demolition, the non-profit organization – The Model-T Automotive Heritage Complex, Inc. – stepped in to preserve the historic plant in 2000.

The plant was restored and transformed into a museum and education center for visitors from around the globe. Today, the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is one of the most compelling automotive heritage sites committed to preserving the historic building and creating a window into the early automotive innovation in Detroit. We caught up with Executive Director, David Platt, to talk about the Plant’s collaboration with Matterport.

Q: What inspired the 3D capture of Ford Piquette?

RJ Pittman, CEO Matterport, visited the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant with his family.  His father Ray Pittman is on our board and he helped set up the tour. I met with RJ and his family that day and he discussed with me the possibility of doing a 3D tour of the museum.  RJ sent me a link to a 3D tour of a French Villa and I was very impressed with the quality.

Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why. 

The “must-sees” at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant include Henry Ford’s office, the “Secret Experimental” room where the Ford Model T was invented and designed, the station assembly exhibit, the Ford dealership display, and the Porter “Alphabet” car collection which is the only complete collection of early Ford cars on display.

Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after enjoying Ford Piquette in 3D?

The main take away I want people to see after enjoying the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is how unique the facility is in regards to architecture and car collection.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

I am glad to have the high quality 3D virtual tour of the museum on our website which has greatly enhanced the online visitor experience to the museum. Hundreds of people view this tour on a weekly basis. During times when the museum has been closed, it has allowed visitors the opportunity to go on a virtual tour any time of the day, seven days a week. People all over the world are able to visit and students from any school have an equal chance to see the museum.  The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is a better place for having a 3D virtual tour available for our guests and we greatly appreciate the hard work of Matterport and VTS for making it all possible.

To learn more about the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, please visit: https://www.fordpiquetteplant.org/.

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Don’t Cancel Your Museum Field Trip

Even though we’re spending more time at home these days, there are clever ways to see the world without having to travel. Attractions that draw thousands of visitors each day are being explored virtually through digital twins captured with Matterport.

We invite you to immerse yourself in our true-to-life 3D walkthroughs of these European museums, and learn more about the exhibits through our Mattertags. This is great news for many schools transitioning to virtual education – the field trip to the museum doesn’t have to be canceled. Students can even visit multiple museums in one day!

So go ahead, step inside these immersive digital twins and click on the circular Mattertags to discover more.

Museu de Lisboa, Exposição “Corpus Christi” – Lisbon, Portugal

The Museu de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal presented the exhibition of the Corpus Christie – or the Body of God procession – by businessman Diamantino Tojal. The exhibition displays 1,587 clay miniatures hand-molded by Tojal between 1944 and 1948 and portrays the Corpus Christi procession as it happened in the 18th century. The glass case of figurines was set in the middle of the Convento da Graça, whose floor is inlaid with red, white and black fossiliferous limestone and whose walls are adorned with panels of 18th century azulejos depicting Augustinian missionaries in Asia. This 2017 exhibition was the first time the piece had been presented since 1948.

Airbus Visitor Centre – Broughton, United Kingdom

An entertaining and visually charming exhibition, the Airbus Visitor Centre showcases nearly 75 years of aerospace manufacturing. The headquarters in Broughton, North Wales assembles wings for the Airbus family of commercial aircraft. The exhibition features an actual piece of an Airbus A350 wingtip along with interactive stations. Broughton is also the birthplace of the de Havilland Comet, the world’s first commercial jetliner, and the de Havilland Mosquito, a British twin-engine, multirole combat aircraft.

Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM) – Barcelona, Spain

Located within Gomis Palace in the heart of Barcelona, the European Museum of Modern Art, also known as Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (MEAM), opened in June 2011 under the sponsorship of the Foundation for the Arts and Artists. The museum promotes figurative art from the 20th and 21st Centuries. Gomis Palace, or Palau Gomis, is nestled in a culturally vibrant neighborhood with the old-world charm the city, weaving together tradition with modernity.

The National Museum of Computing – Bletchley, United Kingdom

Housing the world’s most extensive collection of computers throughout history, The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) is considered one of England’s top 100 “irreplaceable places.” The museum collects and restores historic computer systems and many of the exhibits are in working order. Block H, the building in which TNMOC is located, was the world’s first computer center and was home to six Colossus computers in World War II. The museum follows the evolution of computing from the Turing-Welchman Bombe through mobile computing.

Athy Heritage Centre-Shackleton Museum – Kildare, Ireland

Celebrating the lives and achievements of the town and the local area, Athy Heritage Centre features the only permanent exhibition on Ernest Shackleton, an Irish explorer who led three expeditions to the Antarctic. The original sledge and harness from the expeditions are on display, along with a model of the Endurance, Shackleton’s triple mast barquentine that sailed on the legendary 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Visitors can also watch video footage captured by Frank Hurley, who served as the official photographer for the Antarctic expeditions.

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Virtual Reality Museum Tours Coming To Texas Classrooms

Written by Elizabeth Parrish KUT Austin – NPR
Coming to a museum near you…virtual reality tours. Boston-based HistoryView.org is partnering with the Texas-based Metroplex360 to create 3D tours of museums, art galleries, historic sites and more.
Brian and Elizabeth, the co-founders of HistoryView.org, came up with the idea when Brian was a real estate photographer after he created a virtual tour of a historic home he was selling. Liz, a teacher, recognized the educational potential for virtual tours.
“I showed her the virtual tour and she looked at me and said ‘you know, we should make field trips out of this’,” Brian said. “The next day, we formed a Delaware corporation.”
HistoryView.org has already partnered with 360° photographers around Texas to create virtual tours of the NASA Shuttle Fuselage Trainer in Houston, the 12th Armored Division World War II Museum in Abilene and the Museum for East Texas Culture in Palestine.
Metroplex360 is gearing up their photographers to capture even more. Chris Hickman, the founder of Metroplex360, said they recently finished a virtual tour of Riscky’s Bar-B-Q in Dallas, Texas. woman-holding-brown-cardboard-box-1167134
“This is one of the spaces that we’re excited about putting on HistoryView because it’s a historic tourist location and I think it’s kind of a kitschy, fun way to start in Texas,” Hickman said.
For now, their focus is on the Dallas area, where the company is headquartered. However, they hope to start capturing as much of Texas as possible.
“I think it’ll almost be like a strange little addiction of ours,” Hickman said. “We want to go spend all day 3D-scanning historical places. At least, that’s what I hope.”
Part of the reasoning behind creating the tours is the idea that being able to experience a place virtually might make people more inclined to actually go visit it, thereby increasing tourism to that location. However, HistoryView.org’s main goal is to be an interactive tool for teachers to use in the classroom.
Nicholas Clayton, a special education teacher in Victorville, California, said the virtual tours benefit his class is more ways than one.
man-in-grey-dress-shirt-using-brown-cardboard-vr-glasses-936575“It is very visually stimulating. A lot of my students learn through pictures and learn through a lot of different ways other than through traditional ways,” Clayton said. “Because they are special education students, they have a lot of different learning needs.”
This isn’t Clayton’s first time using technology in his classroom. He said interactive learning has a bigger impact on both education and teaching.
“I’m a big nerd and techie so I think that I go to the technology first and foremost and I think that it becomes a better experience for me as a teacher as well,” Clayton said.
Brian said it’s not uncommon for them to receive positive feedback from teachers.
“Students don’t like to read. But then we put them in the VR headsets and they go to the Rosa Parks Museum and they start reading off the wall and asking ‘did MLK really say that quote?’,” Brian said. “So it’s like we’re able to trick them into learning.”
HistoryView.org and Metroplex360 hope to feature Austin’s capitol building as their next virtual tour. In the meantime, Brian added that teachers should send suggestions of what they want to see next.

 

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HistoryView VR is Expanding its’ VR Field Trip Program

by vredtech.com

Students worldwide are exploring many unique places from all corners of the world through the VR Field Trip program. The service is being offered by HistoryView VR as a means of bringing students to special sites that they might not normally have easy access to.

With the HistoryView, students can explore many places around the world. The VR experience provides students with a special way to see the world. It is easier for students to enjoy learning when they are in an immersive environment and they can see everything they want to interact with. Best of all, HistoryView expands the field trip experience well beyond just the local spaces that students might regularly travel out to.

HistoryView is currently looking for people who can scan museums, historic sites, and other places of interest. The goal is to get a larger variety of places included, supporting more virtual field trips for students to enjoy and explore.

How Does This Work?

The HistoryView VR group allows students to travel to amazing places from around the world from their classrooms. Technicians with HistoryView support the system by using Matterport cameras to scan indoor and outdoor environments to create three-dimensional reality models. These models bring students towards many of the most exciting places in the world.

With the HistoryView app, a student will wear the VR goggles that are linked up to the app and then move around to see different places in a fully immersive environment. The scenes change based on the student’s movement around the virtual area. Students can see everything that is in local space and get a firsthand view of everything that makes such a space special.

What Places Are Covered Right Now?

The types of places that students can explore during their virtual field trips include some unique sites and scenes around the world. Students can travel out to museums, art galleries, and historical sites.

The VR Field Trip program offers VR experiences in many places on all continents. Museums, caverns, school sites, statues and memorials, and major parks are all highlighted on this app.

People who visit historyview.org can learn about the various places that are currently covered within the program. These are divided into many categories and cover all sorts of interests. Kids can visit the high school gym in Ohio that LeBron James played at or see fine cars at the Mercedes-Benz Museum of South Africa. Kids can also go around the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and see its immense body and detailed features, including the bell’s famous crack. Art galleries like the gallery as the Christie’s Auction House in Hong Kong can be explored as well.

All of these spots are available to all students who have access to the VR program. There’s no need to worry about a school getting lots of kids to travel out to some space, let alone have enough room for all of them to fit into some potentially fragile or cramped spots. Every student will be free to roam around the places they visit.

Who Can Contribute?

HistoryView is looking for Matterport Service Partners who can help with scanning art galleries, historic sites, classrooms, and other places of note. The new experiences being promoted through the HistoryView system will encourage kids to learn more about the world around them.

HistoryView always adds new field trip destinations based on the suggestions of the public and from the world of contractors who can help. Matterport Service Partners can contact HistoryView to join the network and to produce new field trips. The MSPs can help with producing the programming designed for these VR tours so students can see more of the great places that they are going to learn about in the classroom.

Those who are interested in producing new field trips for HistoryView can visit historyview.org for additional details. The CEO of HistoryView can also be directly contacted at historyview.org@gmail.com. The group is always happy to find new ideas and suggestions for trips and activities that highlight everything that makes the world special and unique. The goal of HistoryView’s efforts is to bring students to more exciting places throughout the world. Check them out at www.historyview.org

HistoryView-VR_large

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HistoryView VR Classroom Review by Mr. Clayton

by Nicholas Clayton

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I am a special education teacher with a classroom of 4-6th graders in Victorville, CA. I have students that are all on free lunch, many with single parents, parents on disability, working two or more jobs each, and many of them have never had the opportunity to leave town, let alone our state or country. I am always seeking out new technology to bring the United States and the world to the classroom. I love to share new tech with my district as a technology coach and my global Personal Learning Network through my Professional Development events. I am fortunate to have the support of technology companies adding multiple VR devices and software to my classroom.

During my technology expeditions a year and a half ago, I found a brilliant website called HistoryView.org and have been in techno-love every since! HistoryView provides my classroom with a unique opportunity that I don’t get with most virtual field trip programs. Throughout the school year, HistoryView allows my students, on the many types of devices, to take field trips through museums and landmarks that are not available to them and that they, more than likely, will never get to visit in their academic lives (or in future for that matter).

These trips have been invaluable learning experiences for them. I use the program to take field trips in 360 on Chromebooks and students are able to walk through the civil rights exhibit at the Henry Ford’s Museum. We were close enough to read the plaques in the museum, giving students an in-depth tour and learn everything… on a web 360 picture… which is unheard of!!! I am able to utilize our VR devices to have students walk through the Rosa Parks bus and be immersed in the historical significance that sparked the civil rights movement. Being able to lead this lesson in VR is a huge moment in my teaching career because so many of my students connect with the struggle for human rights because we are located in an area that is impoverished and still sees human rights suppression. I owe this moment to the powerful teaching tool, HistoryView, and I love the fact that they bring the site to myself, and to the many other very interested teachers I speak to worldwide, FOR FREE!

HistoryView also has hot spots with website information, videos guiding through historical heritage sites, and interactive elements that keep my students very engaged and excited. Students ask me almost every day if we could take another field trip! I am always so excited to do another one, that I would say yes, but I would realize I have to limit trips to my state curriculum.

HistoryView has so many experiences and I want to see many more, so I am working on a list of sites I want them to go to. They have told me and other teachers they go out to other sites and have responded to our inquiries! I will continue to use and recommend HistoryView.org to the thousands of educators I meet throughout my Professional Development events every year, that is how big of an impact HistoryView has had on my school year. Thank you HistoryView!

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CampusTours Integrates Matterport’s Immersive Media Technology to Create True3D™ Tour Experiences

CampusTours Integrates Matterport’s Immersive Media Technology to Create True3D™ Tour Experiences

Auburn, ME [March 28, 2018] CampusTours Inc. (www.CampusTours.com) announced today that all three CampusTours products (AnyMapAnyTour & WalkingTour) will now integrate with Matterport (www.matterport.com), an immersive media technology company, to create True3D™ tour experiences for their University clients.

Matterport’s True3D™ walkthroughs are fully immersive, and allow a visitor to self navigate through a space, in a very realistic way. The unique 3D “dollhouse” provides an additional perspective so you can get an overview of an entire building and quickly navigate to where you want to go. With Matterport, CampusTours will enable their clients to welcome visitors to a virtual experience of their campus as if they were actually there, via the Web, a mobile device or a VR headset.  The existing video guides (part of the current offering) can be integrated directly into Matterport creating an interactive tour of a campus.

“CampusTours clients have persistently indicated a desire to integrate three-dimensional, walkable campus experiences into their interactive maps and video tours,” said Chris Carson, president of CampusTours Inc. “The integration of Matterport’s category-defining immersive 3D technology gives CampusTours clients the opportunity to create walkable 3D environments to showcase their campus structures to the widest possible audience.”

“We are excited that CampusTours has chosen Matterport to help students experience and choose the right school,” said Bill Brown, CEO of Matterport. “Selecting a college is a very personal experience, yet many students do not have the opportunity to visit all of the schools they are considering.  Matterport provides an opportunity for them to get a feeling for the schools they are considering and make better decisions without incurring the expense or having to take time off of school.”

About CampusTours Inc.
CampusTours Inc. is an interactive media and software company specializing in meeting the marketing, Web and multimedia needs of academic, health care, non-profit, corporate and government organizations.   CampusTours specializes in developing virtual tours, video tours, and interactive maps that entice visitors and facilitate direct and meaningful contacts with audiences. CampusTours Inc. is the owner and operator of CampusTours.com, the Internet’s virtual college tour directory and CampusMaps.com, the Internet’s university campus map directory.

CampusTours Inc. is based in Maine and is privately held. For more information, visit www.CampusTours.com or call 207.753.0136.

About Matterport

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, Matterport is creating a True3D™ image of the physical world with its innovative, end-to-end platform for capturing, experiencing, and modifying digital copies of every real world places on Web, mobile devices, and VR headsets. The company uses its proprietary machine-vision and deep learning platforms to fuel ongoing product innovation. Matterport’s Cameras and Cloud Services make it quick and easy to turn real-world places into immersive virtual experiences. Matterport customers have produced almost 800,000 models across 80 countries; these models have been visited nearly 300 million times.

More information about Matterport is available at www.matterport.com. To hire a dedicated Matterport Service Partner, click here.

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HistoryView AR

Augmented Reality Guided Tours

 

Our partner, Matterport, has announced plans to develop an augmented reality (AR) offering which will allow users to access compelling AR experiences that help people navigate real-world spaces, offering them an ability to better understand the highlights and features of a space. Matterport’s AR offering will be used in a variety of industries including real estate, property marketing, construction, travel & hospitality, and much more. Combined with Matterport 3D, Matterport AR technology will ultimately bridge the online and on-site worlds together.

We are currently developing HistoryView AR with a major augmented reality hardware company. HistoryView AR will allow visitors to have a guided tour of museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Further details will be released at a future date.

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Maine Department of Education: VR Immersive Expo

#ImmerseME

There have been many advances in technology that can provide educators with the tools to facilitate deeper learning of complex concepts, and provide students with a more immersive learning experience. To help facilitate a better understanding of these tools and to bring Maine educators to the forefront of innovative education delivery, the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Sate Library have invited organizations that are using virtual reality in education to come and demonstrate their education tools on June 19th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Maine State Library. There will be booths located in the atrium of the Maine State Library, and 30 minute presentations throughout the day by organizations, higher education partners, and local schools that have already begun to integrate virtual reality into their classrooms. The intent of the day is to provide Maine educators with an awareness of these tools and to start encouraging innovative ideas about how virtual reality can be integrated into more Maine classrooms.

HistoryView is working with museums and historical sites to be able to share local historical experiences and bring history to life for classrooms worldwide. In connection with Matterport’s state of the art technology, HistoryView is able to create virtual reality field trips for schools and universities.

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History Camp 2017

We showcased HistoryView Virtual Field Trip Platform at Suffolk University during History Camp 2017

We also made a recording of “A Revolution of Her Own! The True Story of the American Heroine Deborah Samson [Sampson]”

— Judith Kalaora, Founder & Artistic Director of History At Play (on Twitter @HistoryAtPlay, Instagram @HistoryAtPlay, and Facebook @HistoryAtPlay).

Deborah Sampson, the first woman to enlist, to fight, and to be honorably discharged from the American Military, is portrayed in this program chronicling her life.  An indentured servant by age five, Deborah grew up in a man’s world, where women were naught but secondclass citizens.  As a self-educated master-less woman, she felt a higher calling, and on May 20, 1782, Deborah bound her chest, tied back her  hair, and enlisted in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army as “Robert Shurtlieff.”  The American Heroine takes you back  in  time.

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HistoryView-Matterport VR App

What You Need to Explore a VR Space

1. VR Headset

Any “Works with Google Cardboard” viewer

Samsung Gear VR

Google Daydream

WebVR support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is currently in public beta. Learn more.

2. Smartphone

Google Cardboard Compatible Phones

 Compatible iPhones

iPhone 5S and newer, running iOS 9.1 and higher

 Compatible Android Phones

Displays from 4.7”- 5.5” running
Android OS 4.5 and higher (4.5 for VR app, 5.0 for WebVR)r

Samsung Gear VR Compatible Phones

Compatible Samsung Galaxy Devices

Galaxy S8 and S8+
Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+
Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy J Series not supported

Google Daydream Ready Phones

Google Daydream Ready Phones

Google Pixel and Pixel XL
Motorola Moto Z and Moto Z Force
Huawei Mate 9 Pro
ZTE Axon 7
Galaxy S8 and S8+
ASUS ZenFone AR

3. Chrome Browser OR Matterport VR App

Chrome Web Browser for WebVR

For online streaming through your web browser with WebVR technology.

Only for Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or newer. Chrome on iOS not supported. Android 5.0 and 6.0 require Google VR Services from the Play Store.

Chrome version 58 or newer. Open Chrome and type chrome://version to see your current version. Keep your Chrome browser up to date.

Matterport VR App

For local download and exploration in VR without an internet connection.

Google Cardboard
for iPhone
Google Cardboard
for Android
Samsung Gear VR
for Samsung Galaxy Smartphones
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HistoryView VR

Welcome to HistoryView VR, the educational platform for teachers & students to access 3D Virtual Reality Field Trips powered by Matterport. Working with museums and historical sites, HistoryView is able to share historical experiences and bring history to life for classrooms worldwide. In connection with Matterport’s state of the art technology, HistoryView is able to create virtual reality field trips for education and digitally preserve anthropology. Learn more about the Co-Founders.

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Zoo Labs

Explore This! Turn up the volume and immerse yourself in Zoo Labs, a non-profit music accelerator that invests and explores the artistic nature of music!
Zoo Lab’s 8,000 square foot facility in Oakland, California, includes three recording studios, three design spaces, a creative work environment, and a rotating art exhibit. Their 12-day intensive music residency program challenges artists and harvests their talents through strategy workshops and mentorship. Check out this behind-the-scenes view of a real recording studio where all the musical magic happens!

To learn more about this stellar recording studio, visit Zoo Labs.

Interested in featuring your Matterport Space on our blog? Email us at explorethis@matterport.com.

Model Title: Zoo Labs
Created By: Real Escape
Presented By: Zoo Labs
Location: Oakland, California

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Climb Inside the Belly of these WWII-Era Bombers

Harold Plunkett pauses in the center section of the Collings Foundation B-17 and places his hand on the ball turret gun, suspended in its belly.

“Yup, I was killed twice here, over Italy, a couple of weeks apart.”

 

Kids from the X-Box generation, accustomed to battling imaginary foes in worlds where you can simply hit “reset”, may be forgiven for dismissing the significance of his words. Plunkett, himself a teenager when he signed up, flew over 80 missions as a ball turret gunner in the Second World War, being twice injured within a hair’s breadth of his life by enemy gunfire.

But when the old plane’s four 1,200-horsepower Wright “Cyclone” engines fire up and it takes to the skies again, they get it; there was nothing make-believe about this plane, or the bravery of the young men who flew her again and again into the teeth of flak and enemy fighters.

For the last 25 years, the Collings Foundation (a 501c3 non-profit) has been touring the United States, preserving the living history of the airplanes that defended our country and the young men and women who flew them. They strive for immersion. Kids don’t just see the planes; they get a sense of what their grandparents did for them.

These aren’t “velvet rope” tours, either. Visitors are allowed to climb right inside the foundation’s B-17 and B-24 and crawl around, peering over the pilot’s shoulder into the cockpit, tiptoeing the narrow catwalk over the bomb bay doors, and swiveling the (decommissioned, of course) guns of the waist-gunner positions.

“See?” you’ll hear a mother telling her son as she points to the tiny tailgunner compartment, “This is where grandpa sat. He had to protect his crewmates from fighters coming up behind them.”

Photo of WWII Veteran discusses service on B-17

Veteran Harold Plunkett beneath a B-17, the same plane model on which he served as a belly gunner.

Collings also offers “flight experiences”: for the cost of a donation that helps keep the planes flying, donors can ride along as the B-17 and B-24 take to the air and get a first-hand sense of what it feels like to be peering out the top hatch of a flying battleship with nothing but air between you and the ground below. Even the most jaded peanuts-and-an-inflight-movie flier will never look at an aircraft overhead the same way again.

The Foundation’s “Wings of Freedom” tour spends over ten months each year on – and over – the road, criss-crossing the country, making thousands of flights. But they can only visit so many airports in person, and are constantly searching for ways to share the aircraft with people who can’t see them live.

When they heard about Matterport’s scanning technology during a stop in Silicon Valley’s Moffett Airfield, they invited the team out for a first-hand look at the planes. Matt Bell and Daniel Ford took turns building models of the B-17 and B-24 to capture the experience of exploring these two extraordinary planes.

Now, from the comfort of your couch, you can peer out over the bombardier’s position and explore the cockpit of a B-17 Flying Fortress, and crawl over the narrow catwalk of the bomb bay to the tail gunner’s turret in the B-24 Liberator – the airplane featured in “Unbroken”. You can get a first-hand view of what American airmen, some still teenagers, saw as they went to war, many never to come back.

Matterport’s virtual media platform, and other technologies like it, are quickly changing how we experience our world. Places and objects that were once remote can now be accessed from anywhere. And viewing far-off objects and locations is just the first step toward a future that will be filled with interactive, creative digital experiences that let us engage with–and change–real-world objects on virtual platforms.

Imaging these planes was a powerful reminder of the surprising ways that the future of technology may bring us closer to our past, making it more real.

Matterport is proud to use their technology to help organizations like the Collings Foundation preserve and share the living history of important pieces of cultural heritage like these irreplaceable aircraft. Special thanks to the Collings Foundation for access to their planes.

Photo Credit: Larry Lamb, Flickr