It was just under a year ago now that we reported that the US Department of Education was getting involved with VR and AR tech with the launch of its EdSim Challenge. The competition was designed to seek out new educational systems that could one day change the way we learn. This week, a winner has been selected.
Surgical training platform Osso VR has walked away with the first-place prize. The company will be awarded $430,000 in cash and prizes, the latter of which includes a Rift from Oculus, a Galaxy S7 Edge, a Galaxy Tab S2 9.7″, a Gear S3 watch, a Gear VR headset, and an Oculus Mobile software developer kit (SDK) from Samsung, IBM Bluemix Package from IBM, and an invitation to the BizSpark Plus program from Microsoft. In other words, Christmas came early for Osso.
There were a total of 249 submissions to the competition, with five finalists winning $50,000 each.
Osso offers realistic training in VR. Using motion controllers such as the Oculus Touch, users are walked through complex procedures that they might have to one day perform in real life. It’s like Surgeon Simulator, except you actually have to save your patient, not torture them. The company recently secured some $2 million in funding, so this is really just the cherry on the top for them.