The growing field of virtual reality has many applications and education is one of them. As seen in the many exhibits in the The Art of Video Games museum series, education and serious games can work together. What if there was a virtual reality application that could be used for engineering and architecture.
Students using this application would be able to design and draw their concepts in virtual reality. A comparison would be Tilt Brush. In that application, the player can paint in 3D. In this school application, students can create CAD drawings, blueprints, or mock-ups in virtual reality. At the same time, the computer would build the 2D drawings to exact specifications. This would allow creations to be printed and shared.
A key user experience concern would be navigating menus. Navigating this application would most likely involve an in-game menu. Users could select items using the controllers. Hand gestures would be more precise, good for tuning the thread of a bolt.
This would be more than an interactive design interface. It would provide additional physics and engineering features. People could interact with their structures and drawings by seeing particular metrics of interest. Examples would include air flow, heat distribution, structural integrity and points of failure. These features would enhance the application from being drawing simulation, like Tilt Brush, to a suite of tools that can train students to handle real world scenarios.
The logistics are possible. Collaborate editing would be very important, but still requires more advancements in motion tracking. For example, a teacher could have a class demonstration. The simulation applied to each model might require faster computing, unless a college has access to a supercomputer. Unlike games, these simulations would need to be accurate and process information in real-time.
This would truly be a great product for the STEM field.