Virtual reality learning has never been more life-like or friction-less. Slip on the new Meta Quest 3 headset and you are treated to a view of your actual surroundings. Cameras on the headset relay a pass-through video of the physical world around you in full color and high fidelity that eases the transition from the real to the pixelated world. Watch your real-life conference room and walk into a simulated pharma lab or manufacturing floor, or witness 3D products appearing on your real-life conference table. The pass-through video of your physical room is not perfect, but good enough to read your PC or phone screen. While wearing the headset on your face you can verify your identity with two-step phone verification, check email on your computer, or even drink a cup of coffee. Where Microsoft's HoloLens failed to deliver, the new headsets by Meta and Apple seamlessly blend digital environments with the real world around you. Virtual objects look life-like and can even hide behind physical ones.
Imagine practicing maintenance on equipment that materializes at the snap of your fingers right in your classroom, working alongside your real-life peers. Remote students can join too, as avatars. Meta and Apple are spending billions chasing this dream of augmenting the real world around us, and it’s going to happen one day. Whether this generation's “mixed reality” or “spatial computing” becomes a game-changer for immersive learning or simply a fleeting gimmick is yet to be determined. At a minimum, it will break the solitude of VR and ease the friction of getting in and out of the headset.
The VR experience itself appears a lot sharper in the new Meta Quest 3. Smaller and lighter than any of its market competitors, the headset also boasts superior display resolution and an expanded field of view. The computer-generated world looks stunningly real and instruction texts are easier to read. The hand controllers are shrunk as well and no longer have tracking rings that bump into each other when you perform tasks with hands close together. The $500 Quest 3 headset is unrivaled in the standalone VR market with a new chipset that has more than twice the GPU performance of the older Quest 2 and competitors like Pico 4, Vive XR Elite, and Lenovo's ThinkReality VRX.
Meta reduces friction for the IT organization as well. The “Quest for Business” platform allows IT admins to remotely manage users, apps, and devices and integrate with third-party mobile device management solutions. Developed in partnership with Microsoft, the platform also supports a "shared mode" for multiple students to use the same headset, eliminating the need for individual Meta accounts.
Make no mistake, Quest 3 is not an all-purpose learning and productivity tool. Anyone who wants a headset to replace the PC and phone will have to wait for the $3,500 Apple Vision Pro launch early next year. However, at a fraction of the cost and with most of the same features, the Quest 3 is second to none for hands-on procedural training simulations. This is the headset our pharmaceutical clients Takeda and Bristol Myers Squibb turn to for onboarding lab technicians at scale in real-time rendered cleanrooms. It will be the go-to device for our Daikin client to demonstrate its HVAC products in action on a virtual rooftop. Visit us at I/ITSEC in Orlando to see how Navy sailors can practice submarine skills at the point-of-need, even while they are physically onboard a submarine. We are honored to collaborate with these pioneering VR clients and excited to explore the new spatial learning features. Let's discuss how the Gronstedt Group can accelerate learning at scale for your organization.