Almost a year ago to the date Oculus announced an initiative to bring VR headsets to 90 different California libraries. Now, HTC has announced the Vive Libraries Program, which is set to bring VR headsets to 110 different libraries in California and Nevada.
It’s hard to know how similar the programs are beyond the obvious, but it’s great to see more commitment to democratizing VR for uses other than gaming.
For selected content, HTC has curated a list of “over 35 of the most immersive educational and experiential VR apps” to use in the library settings, so don’t expect much zombie killing to happen inside these headsets. Instead, users can take virtual field trips to places like the Berlin Wall or International Space Station, go swimming with sharks and build virtual models for 3D printing, or even meditate.
This really could end up being the beginning of a revolution for how information is stored and communicated at public places like libraries. I’m reminded of Halliday’s Archive from the Ready Player One film, in which attendees watch playbacks of memories as if they’re happening right before them. Libraries could use VR to adopt a similar model for filed trips and other types of educational reenactments.
Elementary school David would have died to experience the modern day equivalent of the Magic School Bus.
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