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Find out how you can use immersive technology in your teaching to bring a subject to life.

Defining immersive technologies

Immersive technology gives you the experience of being immersed in, or enables you to view or interact with, simulated objects and environments. These range from 360-degree photography and video to Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Immersive technology you can use in your teaching

You can use the below examples of immersive technology in your teaching.

360-degree video

The audience can choose which angle they view the video from at any given moment using interactions from a virtual reality headset, purpose-built project screen, computer or mobile device. It allows you to present storytelling, guided tours, observations, and exploration of physical spaces in a different way.

The tools for 360-degree videos and photos can be harder to find, but some will allow you to add text, recolour or create ‘Little Planet’ pictures.

Some tools include:

If you want to have your images and videos somewhere they can be viewed by others on the internet, you’ll want to host the files somewhere online, like:

  • Tips for shooting 360-degree photos and videos

    Permissions

    Its easy to forget that a 360-degree camera will capture anyone that can see it, it is therefore useful to consider whether you will need to gather permissions from anyone who may be in shot.

    Extreme light source

    Back to back fish eye lenses can mean that one side exposes differently if it is pointed directly at a string light source. Where appropriate try pointing the side of the camera towards the light, this will ensure a balanced exposure.

    Stitch line

    This is where the two halvesof the 360-degree sphere get sewn together, it is also at the extremes of the lenses vision, therefore image quality is compromised and images tend to be not as sharp as they are directly infront of a lens. As such it is useful to pay attention to where the side of the camera is pointing and avoid key activity in this area.

    Proximity

    As with any fisheye lens, the closer you get the more distorted you will look.

    Transition

    If the intention is for your footage to be viewed in a headset, then think about movement. Fast action or quick transition can be very jarring or nauseating in VR.

    Audio

    These cameras are capable of recoding spatial audio, that means they have several microphones and when played back enables a headset viewer to experience the sound as if they were there, the sound sources stay fixed in position relevant to the video as the viewer turns their head.

    Height

    Shooting with immersive technologies can provide great opportunities for building empathy, it is great for point of view shooting. As such, the height at which you fix the camera will change the feeling and view point of your viewer.

    Length of video

    360-degree cameras create very large video files which can take a long time to convert to a file you can upload to YouTube and share. For example, with a five-minute video at the standard (5.2K) resolution, it can take a fast computer over 30 minutes process footage before it can be shared or edited in another program.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Animations, videos, graphics, 3D objects, and interactive content can be viewed through mobile devices, virtual reality headsets or smart glasses to reveal additional information about physical spaces and real-world objects. Create augmented posters, hand-outs and realia; interactive field trips, escape-rooms, and scavenger hunts.

Tools that can be used to create AR experiences include: 

Virtual Reality (VR)

Interactive 3D models of digitised environments and simulated spaces. You can engage with experiences through a range of low to high-cost virtual reality headsets. Enable students to explore or test practical skills and decision making within imagined, simulated or inaccessible locations.

Tools that can be used to create Virtual Reality Experiences include:

How we can support you

We can offer

  • bespoke training sessions on demand for staff during departmental meetings, away days, and professional development workshops
  • one-to-one consultations to provide tailored support and guidance to staff and student projects and initiatives
  • practical teaching sessions for students – we can plan, deliver or co-teach and design to fit around your curricular needs.

Email us at tel@sussex.ac.uk.

GoBags

We have created a toolset of immersive technology equipment that you can borrow for use in teaching or learning projects. 

These bags are mobile, easy to use and available to staff and students for free.

Each GoBag has:

  • a GoPro Fusion 360-degree camera
  • an iPad Pro
  • GoPro Smart Remote
  • a tripod.

In addition there is a mobile phone, headphones and a Google Cardboard for you to view existing VR content. The iPad also comes preloaded with some AR apps for you to try.

See below for guides on how to:

You can get more help and advice from GoPro Support.

Glossary of terms

We have compiled a list of common terminology and definitions in order to demystify the jargon related to the field of immersive technology.

  • Glossary

    360-degree 

    Refers to photographs or video which includes a full 360-degree panorama of the camera. The viewer is able to choose the direction in which they are looking.

    Augmented Reality (AR)

    AR two and three-dimensional content is overlayed on real scenes and objects.

    Cloud Storage

    Storing data using comuters

    Download Speed

    The speed at which a file downloads from the internet. eg. 50Mbps. Higher is faster.

    Extended Reality (XR)

    XR is a catch all term for VR, AR, MR and 360.

    File Conversion

    Using software to change the file type to be readable by other software or to reduce the file size. For example, exporting audio to MP3.

    File Size

    The total size or space that your file takes up on your computers hard drive. The estimated file sizes can often be quite different to the finished file size when rendering 360-degree for example.

    File Types

    Video and audio both have many different types of file, each having their benefits. There are many standards though some devices will use propriatory file types. Its useful to be aware of these before recording.

    Hosting 

    Uploading your files to be viewable on the internet. For example YouTube for videos or Flickr for images.

    Mixed Reality (MR) 

    Like with AR digital imagery is overlaid on real life however, MR differs from AR in that the digital information.

    Upload speed 

    Often much slower than the download speed, this is the speed at which a file takes to upload to the internet for example, YouTube.

    Video Editing

    Using software to alter recorded video. For example combing clips to form one clip or adding titles.

    Video RAM

    Particularly with intensive image or video work, the amount of video RAM can be more important that the RAM. See guidance on the GoPro recommended system requirements for more information.

    Virtual Reality (VR) 

    Virtual reality fully three-dimensional simulated environments.

     

Last updated: 25th August 2022

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