Oakland company develops virtual reality goggles for education

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Soon, virtual reality is expected to be all the rage with gamers, but those high-tech goggles might find another home in education.

A Bay Area company has a head set that is made for learning.

"The world is changing from the book to like iPad," Teracle 3D Effects Manager Key Kim said.

That's why the Teracle team came from Korea, hoping for their TeraGlass to replace blackboards and overhead projectors.

"When you watch this, you can see objects that come to you, and everything is like rotating," Kim said.

TeraGlass is a head-worn, 3D display that is transparent, which means kids can see equations and diagrams while staying face-to-face with their teacher.

"When teacher is teaching through the blackboard, what most tend to see is the teacher's back head, all the time," Kim said.

They envision college students watching online lectures from anywhere on the $600 device that they hope schools will buy in bulk.

"If high schools or universities want to try it out, we want to give them samples for like 50 or 100 units there," Kim said.

Of course a new device requires new content, and that's the other side of the company's business, a project called SSAMCAST, to create high-quality 3D lessons that are free for students.

"Ssam" is Korean for "teacher," and in an Oakland studio, UC Berkeley students are recording lessons for high schoolers about to take the SAT.

Of course, the final video is flipped so you can read it and it's fleshed out with 3D graphics.

Like TeraGlass, SSAMCAST keeps the teacher facing the students in hopes of keeping them engaged.

"When the students see it online, it seems as if I'm looking at the students directly," UC Berkeley student Kevin Kim said.

It's free with or without the headset, which the creators hope will level the playing field for standardized tests.

"Just because they didn't have enough money to go to tutors or go to specialized institutions, SSAMCAST gives an equal opportunity to students of all socioeconomic status," another UC Berkeley student said.
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