Support This Underwater Research Team’s Kickstarter Campaign in This AMA Event

Maria L.
Jan 26, 2018

There’s only 10% of the entire ocean that has been explored, which is why more researches are encouraged. But, there’s always one thing that gets in the way all the time: budget. Cognitive researcher Dakota Brown and his team follows through an underwater exploration of ciral reef communities, which is made amazingly possible with Virtual Reality. Check out some responses from their AMA event below.

QUESTION: How will VR help you underwater for the research?

Utilizing VR underwater will help us with documentation of the environment. This allows us to archive numerous types of information.

For example, we will have a permanent record of:weather/water conditions, be able to use the video to make comparisons to future research, allow multiple researchers to view and use the same research, and ultimatley be able to use this as a learning tool for the classroom.

Finally, as with all of our projects, we wish to break down some of the walls between researchers and the public and show everyone how and why we do what we do.

QUESTION: Sounds like an adventure of a lifetime! How did you get so lucky? ;)

What a question! I could probably write a book on my experience thus far. But I will spare you the long answer and summarize the main points I have adopted and tried to live by.

You are the sum of the 5 to 7 people you spend most of your time with. Surround yourself with individuals while understanding that concept. You'll be amazed at how much you grow.

Build your own motivation. Motivation fades way. If you make your own, it's called discipline.

Learn to love what you do and love the people around you. Some of my closest friends, and people I consider family are those I do research with.

And yea, I got lucky :) I happen to run into a professor while wandering through the hallways of my college. He was spinning around in a chair playing with VR. I introduced myself and so began my process of wanting to conduct research, seek a PhD, and in general love what I do everyday.

Thanks for asking this question!

QUESTION: How many years of experience do you have in conducting survey research using VR.

I haven't conducted survey research using VR. However, we have conducted several surveys on VR. To answer your question, I have been working with VR in research for the last two years, however we have just recently started the survey research.

QUESTION: How can the gap between the audience and the VR Technology be reduced?"

Let's assume that audience is referring to the individual using VR. In that case, there are several factors that go into reducing the gap or lack of immersion. 

The first of which is the hardware itself. As HDMs(head-mounted displays) have improved, the immersion has increased. The first set of improvements was increased resolution, and a smaller, lighter, more balanced headset. Recently, HTC just announced a wireless adapter for the VIVE headset. This is a big step forward, as you will no longer be limited by a cable hanging next to you, pulling you out of the experience, and limiting your space. Improvements in the technology over the last two years and in the next 5 are expected to be exponential and all but eliminate that gap. 

The other primary factor to consider is the experince itself. As with any technology, it takes time for developers and creators to learn how to create for VR. The first round of applications and videos were far from immersive and more of a gimmic. In the recent years, and especially in the last few months, high quality, well tested, and well funded experiences have come to the platform. Learning how to integrate all of the possible movements into storytelling and gaming is a challenge, however I would argue that this is the most important factor in increasing immersion.

This is among the reasons I am studying a research team using VR. I want to know how they interact with the technology in the field, and in the analysis stage. This will hopefully identify emergent themes that we can then use to improve our ability to create content and provide an immersive experience.

QUESTION: What are the factors that affect the availability of Virtual Reality (VR) technology to the audience?

The factors that affect the availability of VR to the audience are similar to that of computers when they started to become more prevalent in society.

  • Cost
  • Space
  • Accessibility
  • Comfort
  • Training

All of these are factors we are focusing on while conducting research, trials, and surveys with and on VR. These are also the primary factors being considered by the hardware and software developers for VR.

Know all about the more scholarly uses of Virtual Reality as you view the complete AMA event here.

How do you use Virtual Reality in your field? Or do you use them at all? Regardless, you can tell us all about it! Creating your own AMA event is as easy as 1,2,3— simply click here to start.

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