Insight hosts first Irish virtual reality classroom

Submitted on Monday, 23/11/2020

Insight’s Lukasz Porwol and EPE Manager Brendan Smith hosted the first Irish virtual reality classroom in November. Using Altspace VR by Microsoft and using Oculus headsets by Facebook Engineering, they connected students with Insight researcher Ihab Salawdeh.

Porwol said, “The immersive classroom is highly engaging and offers unparalleled means of interactivity going way beyond ubiquitous ZOOM and MS Teams teleconferencing.”

Smith and Porwol are planning more sessions soon. “It’s an excellent use-case for our VR Communication Research at Next Generation Internet – NGI,” Porwol said.
“I believe it was a big day for Galway and Ireland.”

Smith said, “The reaction was very positive. Students were very excited to participate and we had more students interested than headsets available – due to limited funding for our operations.”

The session involves a researcher from Insight presenting their topic to students in an understandable way in a virtual classroom. This is followed by Q&A which is again followed by a museum tour, research posters on climate exploration, Data Muses, space exploration of data and original pieces of art made by researchers and finally another presentation on data and music.

Smith said, “the Immersive Research Experience is a very collaborative project involving, Lukasz, Insight EPE, Dr Brian Wall, Data Muses, the computer museum, Insight research presenters, and of course, the all-important schools.”