Virtual labs offer promise in today’s education peril
There are a lot of conversations going on right now about the future of work. The general public is currently being educated that Industry 4.0 technologies are set to change the future of work. Mentions of robotics, automation, AI and VR technologies changing the landscape of the next world economy are everywhere, and in practice, these technologies carry great momentum edging toward maturation.
However, little we realise that the future of education, critically, needs to change too alongside the development of new emerging technologies going mainstream. After all, our young are the ones who will populate the job market in the future.
Case in point, French company XXII recently developed a prototype of its Virtual Augmented Laboratory or VAL. Users wear HTC Vive headsets and perform chemistry experiments in a virtual world away from real flames or dangerous chemicals.
The prototype uses 3D printed beakers and an interactive Bunsen to blend and heat chemicals. Monitoring too is made easy with just a smartphone to guide and monitor users by the instructor. Although VAL is a prototype, but it may soon make chemistry class more interesting.
Across the board, we believe that education can find promise in peril with the adoption of technology. Certainly, this kind of setup can help overcome the high costs of chemical equipment and laboratory.
In a nutshell, education’s viability is weaker than the future of work as a whole. However, the advent of new technologies that require less physical assets, but are big on practicality, can nurture a new school of chemists and scientists to make the world a better future.
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