Our innovative Lab, devoted to immersing into VR environments, has been recently set up at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Milan-Bicocca.
In view of the current Covid-19 global outbreak, we have taken major efforts to provide students, teachers and the whole scientific community, with a full preview of our Virtual Outcrops and 360-VR-VIDEOS, all available at this website (menu on the left), integrated with easy-to-understand descriptions provided by leading experts in a wide gamut of Earth Science topics.
Users can easily access the models using a mobile phone, a tablet, or a computer. In addition, all models are already set up to be explored in an immersive way using VR devices, following the same approach as that tailored for the Lab.
The VR Lab is composed of a projector that enables displaying challenging, peculiar (terrestrial or submarine) geological environments, reconstructed in three dimensions. Teachers and students will have a chance to immerse into Virtual Reality, by means of six Oculus Rift headsets and ten 3D glasses. This technical equipment will enable teachers to move around the chosen geological environments as if they were actually moving in real field conditions; this will make it possible to show the students the most peculiar geological features of any selected area. By way of this method, the viewers’ learning process will be greatly enhanced, as they will be absorbing new concepts as they virtually walk across the geological environment, instead of passively listening to teachers in a classroom. This strategy may be conveniently employed during exams, aimed at testing the students’ knowledge of Earth Science topics.