EON Reality Announces New Self-Directed Learning Initiative to Drive Engagement in Online Education

The new inverted classroom structure helps students become topical experts.

EON Reality, the global leader in Augmented and Virtual Reality-based knowledge and skills transfer for industry and education, announces a new Self-Directed Learning initiative to shift the way academic institutions go about creating AR and VR lessons.

Self-Directed Learning is the next evolution of the Classroom 3.0 movement, which embraces active learning to become experts in various subjects. With nearly 1.6 billion children and millions of educators forced to switch to online classes during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need for quick and easy content creation is more pressing than ever before. Although immersive lessons can be designed in just a few minutes using the AVR Platform, many teachers no longer have the time to sit down at their computer to craft detailed new lessons for each topic after a full day of leading online classes.

With Self-Directed Learning, instructors can simply give the students a set of subjects and parameters to create a lesson as part of their assignment — allowing students to learn a specific subject as they design the interactive experience about it. By taking the pressure of creation off of the teacher and turning it into a part of the students’ education, classes and schools will never have to worry about running out of AR and VR lessons to work on. Additionally, the multi-user features of the AVR Platform motivate students to share and undertake peer learning, review, and assessment.

Combined with the recent announcement of the new Remote AVR packages and removal of the paywall on the AVR Platform as a means to assist schools, governments, and businesses struggling through this difficult time, EON Reality is hoping to combat the negative experiences people are currently having with remote learning and training. Statistics show that only 25% of students and teachers find online teaching as effective as its classroom equivalent, and the average person begins to lose interest in a video lecture in approximately 6 minutes.

As EON Reality’s Chief Learning Officer, Peter Looker, pointed out in his note about Self-Directed Learning, two of the biggest benefits of the new initiative directly combat that issue. The engagement and immersion that come with creating and using AR and VR lessons can transform online learning into a much more effective medium for students and teachers alike. Just because classes cannot meet in person doesn’t mean that the interaction and education gained from the traditional classroom experience can’t be replicated in a digital environment.

“Through Self-Directed Learning, a school of 3,000 students can quickly develop 30,000 lessons. The ability to create and maintain high-quality AR and VR lessons has never been more necessary, and this new initiative is a big step in achieving our goal in making lessons of all types available for everyone through the AVR Platform.”

Dan LejerskarFounder of EON Reality

In addition to the direct improvements for the educators and pupils creating the lessons, Self-Directed Learning will also benefit the millions of users of EON Reality’s industry-leading AVR Library. Academic professionals and experts will periodically review and import the top lessons created by students and add them to the expansive library for users around the world to incorporate into their existing curricula — increasing both the number of subjects and languages with full, comprehensive courses available on the AVR Platform.

EON Reality has developed a nine-step implementation plan that will soon be available through both the AVR Platform and the EON Reality website.

In addition to the direct improvements for the educators and pupils creating the lessons, Self-Directed Learning will also benefit the millions of users of EON Reality’s industry-leading AVR Library. Academic professionals and experts will periodically review and import the top lessons created by students and add them to the expansive library for users around the world to incorporate into their existing curricula — increasing both the number of subjects and languages with full, comprehensive courses available on the AVR Platform.

EON Reality has developed a nine-step implementation plan that will soon be available through both the AVR Platform and the EON Reality website.

About EON Reality
EON Reality is the world leader in Augmented and Virtual Reality-based knowledge and skills transfer for industry and education. EON Reality’s 21 years of success are tied to its belief that knowledge is a human right and should be available, accessible, and affordable for every human on the planet. To carry this out, EON Reality has developed the de-facto standard for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-based knowledge and skills transfer software that supports devices from mobile phones to large immersive domes. EON Reality’s global development network, with 22 locations worldwide, has created the world’s leading AR/VR library for education and industry with over 8,000 applications and over 40 million users worldwide.

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How to Guide Your Employees to Post More on Social Media

Want your employees to share more about your business on social media? Wondering how best to guide their social media posts? In this article, you’ll discover how to develop guidelines to help employees post more on social media and find examples of types of posts employees can model. #1: Create Clear Social Media Guidelines for […]

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Exercise Research, Spaceship Packing During Robotics Work

The Canadarm2 robotic arm and Dextre extract Bartolomeo
The Canadarm2 robotic arm and Dextre, the fine-tuned robotic hand, are remotely controlled on Earth to extract Bartolomeo from the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship.

Exercise tests aboard the International Space Station today are helping doctors evaluate the best ways to keep crews healthy and fit on long-term space missions. The Expedition 62 crew also readied cargo and crew ships for departure as a variety of other life science experiments took place.

Aerobic fitness in space is critically important so astronauts can successfully support physically demanding mission events such as spacewalks and spaceship landings. NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan took turns testing their fitness on an exercise bike today while attached to sensors. Doctors will use the data to understand crew health and adapt exercise techniques so astronauts can maintain strong bones and muscles, and add to the body of knowledge that is helping astronauts readapt to gravity after long missions.

Afterward, Meir had a blood pressure check for the Vascular Echo cardiovascular study. Morgan checked on mice being observed for space-caused changes to their genetic expression.

The duo also continued loading the SpaceX Dragon resupply with station hardware and science experiments for analysis on Earth. Dragon will depart the station on Monday at 9:52 a.m. EDT and splashdown in the Pacific a few hours later. Meir and Morgan are also packing personal items to get ready for their return to Earth on April 17 aboard the Soyuz MS-15 crew ship.

Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos worked a pair of different Russian investigations today. He first studied how weightlessness affects blood circulation in the heart. The veteran cosmonaut then activated gear that observes the Earth’s atmosphere at nighttime in near-ultraviolet wavelengths.

The new Bartolomeo science platform from the European Space Agency is in the process of being installed to the outside of the Columbus laboratory module. Robotics controllers are remotely guiding Bartolomeo in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Ground teams will finalize the installation over two days.

New Oculus TV Series Shines A Light On The Transgender Community

Oculus releases ‘Authentically Us’ in celebration of International Transgender Day of Visibility.

Just three months into 2020 and Oculus TV is already crushing it with its selection of captivating 360 and VR180 content. This past February saw the release of Everest VR, a jaw-dropping VR docuseries featuring some of the most stunning 360-degree footage we’ve ever seen.

Earlier this month, Oculus teamed up with popular internet duo The Slow Mo Guys on an eight-part series featuring everything from fire breathing and katana slicing to powder paint airbag explosions, all of which captured in super slow motion. Today, Oculus continued its winning streak with the release of the eye-opening VR for Good series, Authentically Us.

Available now on Oculus Quest and Oculus Go, Authentically Us shines a light on members of the LGBTQ community who often go unrecognized by the media. Developed in collaboration with Oculus VR for Good, Fovrth Studios, and Pride Foundation, the three-part series takes viewers into the homes and lives of three different individuals from Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.

“We designed Authentically Us on Oculus to help bring transgender people in our communities into our homes and lives, to see our common humanity and move toward understanding and acceptance,” says filmmaker Jesse (Jesus) Ayala in an official Oculus blog. “The COVID-19 pandemic is a great opportunity for people to understand the importance of community.”

According to Oculus:

  • We’re Still Here tells the story of Aiden Crawford, a Two-Spirit artist and historian in Boise, Idaho, as he struggles to preserve and revive his heritage.
  • She Flies By Her Own Wings follows veteran Shannon Scott as she urges for freedom and justice for all.
  • A Treasured Stat” introduces Acton Seibel, a transgender person of color working in a traditionally masculine industry as a mechanic.

“The stories together show why transgender people should be able to live and work anywhere safely,” continues Ayala. “They also show how transgender people have always been a part of our communities. The stories we tell come from states where LGBTQ communities are rarely depicted in media: Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.”

“As the United States comes together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic with many federal and state governments stepping up to defend all their residents, it saddens me that the Idaho state legislature has passed not one, but a series of anti-transgender bills targeting the transgender community in a time of heightened vulnerability.”

I had the chance to check out She Flies By Her Own Wings while attending the Tribeca Film Festival and was genuinely moved by the piece. Shannon’s courage in the face of adversity as she continued her fight for transgender rights throughout Washington D.C. was inspiring to watch.

All three episodes of Authentically Us are available now on Oculus TV.

Feature Image Credit: Oculus, Facebook

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VR Grapple Shooter SWARM Swings Its Way Onto Headsets This Summer

Spider-Man meets classic Centipede in this arcade-style VR shooter.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from games like Windlands and the Spider-Man: Far From Home Virtual Reality Experience, it’s just how fun swinging in VR can be when done right.

Greensky Games’ SWARM aims to capitalize on that fun, offering players an action-packed arcade shooter in which they’ll battle gargantuan mechanical opponents while swinging across brightly-colored environments like a futuristic Spider-Mans. The players primary tool is their grappling hook, which they’ll use to swing from a series of yellow platforms scattered throughout the map as they dodge incoming fire.

At the same time they must use their dual pistols to battle swarms (see what I did there?) of robotic enemies, from small drones to giant mechanical serpents. According to the developer, SWARM takes heavy inspiration from fast-paced arcade classics, the most obvious of which being Atari’s legendary shooter Centipede.

“From the start we were focused on building something where you can jump in for a 10-20 minute session and make progress,” states Greensky Games founder Peter Le Bek in an official release. “We also wanted to build a game with an incredible motion mechanic. We’d been enjoying grappling in Windlands and we felt like grappling in VR could feel even better.”

“We spent 4 months iterating on grappling, and had a breakthrough when we gave the rope some elasticity and tension simulation – suddenly it felt like we had more control and power, more like Spider-Man. From there we considered building a 3D platformer, or a racing game, but we settled on the arena shooter because swinging through explosions and plunging down on enemies while shooting them was just ridiculously fun!”

SWARM will include globally competitive leaderboards upon its release this Summer on Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift/Rift S, and Steam. The game will support cross-buy between the Rift and Quest. For the best possible experience, however, Le Bek recommends the Oculus Quest due to it’s wireless capabilities.

(Image Credit: Greensky Games)

“We developed early prototypes of the grapple mechanic on Rift,” continues Le Bek. “Trying it on Quest for the first time took the feeling of freedom to a totally different level. The combat in Swarm is truly 360 and being able to spin around to shoot an enemy chasing you feels 100x better without a wire in the way.”

Feature Image Credit: Greensky Games

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Facebook Ends Samsung Gear VR Software Updates, 360 Video Downloads & Films

Facebook is ending software updates for the Samsung Gear VR. Further, users will no longer be able to access films or download the Oculus Video app.

The Samsung Gear VR is a smartphone-based VR headset. Like Google Cardboard and its plastic derivatives, users slot in their smartphone which acts as the display and computer. Unlike cardboard, however, it features a dedicated gyroscope and accelerometer, and runs the same Oculus mobile platform and store as the Oculus Go.

The first Gear VR was released in late 2014 for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. While labeled an ‘Innovator Edition’, the product was essentially the first modern consumer VR headset.

Over the years, new versions were released to support the latest Samsung phones. The headset did not change significantly, other than the inclusion of a 3DoF controller from 2017 onward.

No Updates, No Films, No New 360 Video Users

Samsung phones will no longer receive new Gear VR features via Oculus OS updates.

From today, the Oculus Video and Oculus 360 Photos apps will no longer be able to be downloaded on Gear VR. If you already have those apps installed on your phone you can continue to use them, but rented and purchased films will no longer be available. Existing users with purchased films should receive Oculus Store credit “equivalent to the cost you paid for any titles you bought,” according to Facebook. Users should be able to continue to use other film services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Fandango Now, but we should note that some developers who supported Gear VR stopped once it became clear Facebook wasn’t going to update the platform anymore.

The included Oculus Browser will no longer be updated. In Facebook’s own words, this may introduce “an increased security risk, as with using any out-of-date web browser”. At Oculus Connect conferences, the browser has been said to be one of the top used apps on mobile VR.

Samsung’s own Samsung Internet is available on Gear VR, but hasn’t been updated since April 2019. Other third party browsers exist on the store, but with low user ratings.

From September 15, developers will no longer be able to support Gear VR on new apps released to the Oculus Store.

Gear VR Was Already Dead

The announcement won’t be a surprise to those following the Gear VR in months.

At Oculus Connect 6 back in September 2019, Oculus’ then-CTO John Carmack essentially declared the Gear VR dead.

This was prompted by the news that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 would not support VR. The Galaxy S20 followed suit this year, ending Samsung’s support of the platform.

Google’s competing Daydream smartphone VR platform is also essentially dead, with neither the Pixel 3a nor Pixel 4 supporting it and sales of the headset itself ending.

In December the Oculus SDK dropped support for Gear VR, and in January the Unity engine, used to make most VR apps, deprecated support.

Smartphone-based VR created a lot of problems. The time it takes to slot in and out the phone, and the fact the user’s phone is unusable while docked into the headset, makes people less likely to want to use VR on a regular basis. A Gear VR session could also end after a matter of minutes, depending on the device and conditions in which it is used, due to the phone’s processor reaching its thermal limits. Smartphones pack all of their components into an incredibly small space. While Samsung improves its passive cooling design almost every year, there are physical limitations which can’t be overcome packing VR into a device designed first as a phone.

oculus quest oculus go

Standalone VR headsets, though, incorporate the screens and computing hardware and are designed for better cooling. Despite standalones having roughly the same graphical limitations as smartphone VR, Carmack claimed that the Oculus Go saw Rift-like retention levels, whereas Gear VR’s was much lower.

Facebook previously stopped production of cables for the original Oculus Rift, leaving many owners with no repair option when it breaks. Oculus Go’s social features were dropped late last year. Facebook said Quest will be supported “for years to come”, but Go looks like it may be on the way out.

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VR Launch Title Headmaster Getting ‘Lost Lessons’ DLC, Physical Release

Nearly four years on from its launch on PSVR (and subsequent releases on PC VR), Headmaster is getting its first DLC.

Called The Lost Lessons, the DLC will be arriving on all platforms this April. As the name implies, the pack will feature 10 new missions that explore new ideas not previously seen in the original game. The developer says that these are some of the game’s most “outrageous” challenges. There’s also an advanced Party Mode level to complement the update the game got late last year. You can get a brief look at what’s included in the tweet below.

Headmaster presents a novel use of VR headsets, getting you to headbutt soccer balls at targets. The headset’s tracking makes for the perfect controller to do that with, but developer Frame Interactive also dresses up the experience with a strangely deep story mode.

Elsewhere, Headmaster is getting a physical release on PSVR via Perp Games. The Extra Time Edition, as it’s called, will feature both the Party Mode update and this new DLC. That’s arriving on June 5. The DLC on its own will cost $7.99 with a 10% discount available at launch. Headmaster costs $19.99 on the PlayStation Store so the physical version may come in around that price.

We thought Headmaster was quite fun when it first released on PSVR, though the novelty of the experience could wear off quickly. Hopefully adding these new levels into the mix will remedy that situation somewhat.

Will you be checking out Headmaster’s new DLC? Let us know in the comments below!

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Lies Beneath Review: Surviving Stylish Horrors

Lies Beneath is an action-packed single-player survival horror game published by Oculus Studios and developed by Drifter Entertainment, the same team behind PC VR co-op shooter Gunheart and Robo Recall: Unplugged on Quest. Read our full Lies Beneath review below for more!

The Oculus Quest has a great selection of VR games. But what you might notice when browsing the Store or looking through your Library of content is that there is certainly a lack of narratively-driven single player titles. Other than Vader Immortal, Apex Construct, Moss, Virtual Virtual Reality, Journey of the Gods, and a handful of others the vast majority of content on the Quest is designed to be briefly picked up and played for a few minutes or focused on multiplayer. Thankfully Lies Beneath is here to help alleviate the issue a bit.

Lies Beneath tells the story of a young woman that gets into a car accident while visiting her family in a small Alaskan town. She’s driving in a car with her father when a mysterious figure steps out in front of the vehicle, causing her to swerve off of a bridge and crash, getting flung from inside. By the time you make your way back to the scene, your father is gone with nothing but a trail of blood leading away.

Thus, the mystery begins.

It’s a good hook for a story and the way Drifter Entertainment unravels the threads is very interesting and well-done. Everything in Lies Beneath is presented as if it were a dark, noir-style comic book. The beginning of each “Issue” has you flip through a giant, floating comic complete with panels, descriptive box out text, dialogue bubbles, and more. After getting up to speed, you essentially live out the events of the book.

The art style feels just like a comic come to life. It reminds me a bit of Mad World on the Nintendo Wii, or the similarly-styled VR shooter Dimension Hunter. The main difference here is how well the overall package sells the window dressing. It’s more than just a superficial coat of animated paint. When you do things like hit boxes with your axe, tiny sound effect blurbs like *crack* pop up for a split second and clicking things in the menu show a brief *click* sound blurb. It does a great job of further selling the aesthetic.

Lies Beneath VR 3

As stylish and pronounced as it is, it takes a while before the environments feel very interesting. You spend quite a while lumbering around in the snow where everything looks extremely samey. The foggy blizzard restricts your vision so the game rarely renders anything in the distance and darkness requires using your small lighter to see just a foot or two in front of you. This all helps build suspense, but ends up making it feel truncated in terms of actually being immersive. Hopefully the Rift version that releases in a couple of weeks can sidestep some of these issues.

I also noticed some performance issues on Quest in the form of stuttering here and there, most commonly when approaching comic panel narration in between level sections. For example, every Chapter has comic panels positioned as sign posts inside the levels that articulate your character’s thoughts rather than using voice over dialogue and each time I approached this (every handful of minutes or so) there was usually a brief jitter of frame drops.

Since your lighter can be used to point you in the right direction if you look at where the embers are pointing off the tip of the flame, you’ll never get lost — not that you would have anyway since Lies Beneath is a pretty linear game. Most of the time you’ll walk from one end of a chapter to the other, interacting a bit with objects as you go, running from big bad guys, and shooting your way past ghouls.

In terms of actual scares and building up a sense of horror, Lies Beneath is one of the lighter efforts in its genre. Since you almost always have weapons on-hand there is a lot more combat here than in something like The Exorcist: Legion VR, Face Your Fears 2, or other recent horror games. Rather than forcing you into a state of helplessness you can and will fight back in Lies Beneath quite often.

lies beneath bear trap zombies

All told the game is about 6-8 hours long depending on your play style spread across 20 chapters. It takes a while to reach some environmental variety, but once you do the art style becomes more pronounced and visually pleasing. I’m really not a fan of sticking players in a snowy blizzard for the first chunk of the experience, it was a bit of an underwhelming opening for that reason.

There is a good assortment of weapons here from revolvers and hand axes to shotguns and more. When you have your lighter fully lit and out in one hand you can see an aiming reticule where you point and weak spots on enemies are highlighted. It’s a cool system that adds some strategy to tense fights.

Coming off of weighty PC VR games like Boneworks,  The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Half-Life: Alyx, and even Asgard’s Wrath and Stormland, combat in Lies Beneath doesn’t feel very reactive. Most objects in the game are static, not physics objects at all, and melee attacks usually pass through enemies and objects without making contact. Even gunshots result in mostly canned animations it seems, which is a bit of a bummer.

The scariest moments in Lies Beneath are purely atmospheric. Hearing the sounds of beasts in the forest, just beyond your view, feasting on corpses. Spotting red, glowing eyes peering at you from around a corner only to disappear once you reach the next area beyond the trees. The constant feeling that you’re being watched, at all times, everywhere you go. It’s tense and unnerving and slowly builds over the course of the game.

There were a handful of jump scares, but they’re not super common. Instead, Lies Beneath relies more on a sense of stress and anxiety to justify its horror label. The atmosphere is foreboding, the narrative is dark, and the imagery is often creepy, so when you get overwhelmed by enemies and are fumbling to reload or running low on ammo, that’s when the hairs start to stand up on your neck and arms or you flail in desperation right before death.

Trust me, I speak from experience.

Lies Beneath VR 2

Lies Beneath Review Final Verdict

While Lies Beneath doesn’t pack enough true terror to be considered a new peak for VR horror, it does manage to craft an intriguing story in a stylishly formed world with mostly satisfying combat and palpable tension. It’s exciting to see a developer that was so previously rooted in the fast-paced action shooter category branching out to something more slow-paced, narratively-driven, and visually unique. The gameplay certainly leaves plenty to be desired in the wake of Half-Life: Alyx, but in terms of its story and setting there is enough here to make it worth a recommendation — especially in comparison to similar experiences already available on Quest.


Final Score: :star: :star: :star: :star: 4/5 Stars | Really Good

lies beneath pro con list review

You can read more about our five-star scoring policy here.


Lies Beneath releases today on Oculus Quest and comes to Oculus Rift on April 14th. This review is based on the Oculus Quest version of the game. For more details visit the official website.

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HTC Announces $549 Headset-Only Cosmos Elite (With Free Alyx)

Two weeks ago, HTC launched its Vive Cosmos Elite headset at $899. This week, its revealing some cheaper alternatives.

The full Cosmos Elite kit comes with the headset, the SteamVR tracking faceplate, two SteamVR 1.0 base stations and Vive wands controllers. Starting in April, however, HTC will be shipping just the headset and the faceplate for $549. That’s a huge reduction in price but, obviously, you’ll need some existing base stations and controllers to use it. It might be a feasible upgrade for existing-Vive owners, though we haven’t got final impressions for ourselves just yet.

As for existing Cosmos owners, the company will also be shipping the standalone faceplate for $199. We originally got a glimpse of this option late last year. Of course, you’ll already need a Cosmos for this option.

Both options will be shipping to the US on May 1. You’ll be able to pre-order the headset on April 1. Delivery in other regions will vary, as outlined in the official Vive blog. “Given demand, we are releasing these to markets as quickly as we can given supply chain challenges associated with the ongoing health crisis,” the company wrote.

Whether you’re buying the base headset, just the faceplate or getting the entire kit, Cosmos Elite still comes with a free copy of Half-Life: Alyx (which is very good). There’s also six months of free access to the company’s VR subscription service, Viveport Infinity. This lets you access a wide library of games and experiences at no extra cost.

We’re still waiting on news about Cosmos’ cheaper option, the Cosmos Play, which comes with a faceplate for four-camera inside-out tracking. HTC had suggested a $499 price point for the kit, though that’s not set in stone right now.

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