Through films like Finding Nemo and Toy Story, Pixar Animation Studios has redefined the cinema over the past few years. But one of the company’s figureheads is looking to VR and AR to transform another important pillar: education.
Pixar co-founder and chief scientist Loren Carpenter recently said as much to Tes following a lecture he gave inside VR last month. “I feel very optimistic about the educational potential of augmented reality and VR devices,” Carpenter said. “I think the application of VR in education is one of the greatest steps in years.”
Last month students at the Windsor Forest Colleges Group in Slough, UK were treated to an in-VR talk from Carpenter, who was beamed into HTC Vives as he spoke in California. Carpenter envisioned trips to Mars inside headsets where teachers can label points of interest and show the solar system in scale. That sounds a little like Google’s existing Expeditions platform, though that’s yet to leave our planet.
Carpenter is also a big believer in AR, though he believes it’s still a few years away from ‘practical’ use.
It’s always encouraging to see people as influential as Carpenter showing their support for VR and AR. While we may not be seeing any Pixar VR movies any time soon, we agree with Carpenter that the potential for these technologies to be used in education is massive. In fact, we’re already seen plenty of examples of this, from virtual museums to games that teach you through playing.