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360ViSi project presented at Science Week in Valencia

Science Week at the Catholic University of Valencia, Spain, is an annual event hosted by the Vice-Rectorate for Research aimed at all students and academics interested in science, innovation and new technologies in teaching. 

This time, Dr. David Fernández and Dr. David Sancho, members of the 360ViSi project, presented some of their projects within teaching innovation. One of them was the 360ViSi project.

You may see a summary of the topics in this video.

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Technology and tools – an overview



1. The characteristics of 360° video

360° video or still images immerse the user in a virtually generated environment through photography or a video obtained with 180° / 360° cameras, that is to say, cameras that capture images or footage in all directions and generate a panoramic sphere that the users can turn and explore.

Technically, the 360° cameras capture overlapping fields of multiple lenses pointing in different directions, or from various cameras mounted together in a sphere. Special software is used to compress and join the different images, usually in the shape of a rectangular frame called an equi-rectangular projection.

The result is a still image, or a linear running video, that allows for a view in all directions and multiple modes of visualisation on various devices:

  • Through a Virtual Reality device, in which the screen updates the scene being displayed according to the user’s head motion.
  • On a smartphone, by shifting your device in the direction you want the video to display.
  • On a computer, by scrolling through the window to focus on the different parts of the scene. This is also possible for smartphones and tablets.
  • On a conventional screen, in which case the user is not in control of the viewing angles.

The different devices and modes for projecting 360° imagery also allow for different pedagogical applications. Understanding these technical differences will be important in order to maximize the benefits of 360° video used in education.

The focus of the following in this article is 360° video. However, many of the features and technologies mentioned may also apply to 360° still images. And not least for use in education, a combination of these two formats may also be relevant.

2. A comparison: 360° video to VR 

360° video can easily be misunderstood as the same as virtual reality (VR). Both are immersive media formats but differ greatly in how complex they are to produce and by their properties for user interaction.

With the irruption and common availability of 360° recording cameras (Samsung, 360Fly, Ricoh, Kodak, Nikon, etc) the already familiar term “Virtual Reality” was used in marketing to imply what could be enjoyed with the new recording devices, as well as the images that they produce. The fact that their images also could be reproduced on Head-Mounted Display (HMD) devices, or “goggles”, that are a characteristic of VR technology, gave support to the use of the term. Still, no professionally accepted understanding of the term “Virtual Reality” apply to 360° video, which should instead be understood on the basis of its own, unique characteristics.

A prominence of VR is that it is made up of simulated environments, synthetically recreated by 2D or 3D imagery, which is exceptional when the need is to portray inaccessible or dangerous scenarios and environments. The prominent feature of 360° video, on the other hand, is its actual ability to photo realistically play back environments and actions as they were recorded in real-time, which is exceptional when the goal is documentation or observation of real scenarios, events and environments.

Understanding the strengths of the two media also provides insight into their limitations. Their visual characteristics are a fundamental aspect. Differences in navigation, interaction, production, playback and sharing are others, which must be considered when deciding how these media can best be utilized as teaching aids.

2.1    User interaction and navigation

The virtual motion characteristics is another of the differences that is evident between the two media of 360° video and VR. Since a 360° video is previously recorded, the user is limited to looking around and following the directed timeline, with no option of movement neither in the virtual space the video portraits nor beyond the time it constitutes. Any movement must be directed at the time of recording. It should be noted that such recorded movements in a 360° video unfortunately may result in an unpleasant, dizzying experience for the viewer who passively watches the video.

Still, from a pedagogical point of view, the fixed movements and timeline of a 360° video may also be understood as a favourable property. In contrast to the open environment of VR, the directed environment of a 360° video constitutes intentional story lines that will aid the viewer to an intended learning outcome. Shorter story lines that are interlinked may very well be used as a strategy to expand the user’s room for manoeuvre, who at certain points in a 360° video can decide which story line to follow.

In VR, the user controls the experience within the created, synthetic environment and the properties it has. Its key feature is that users virtually have the ability to move through the environments and interact with them at their own will.

Between the two media technologies of VR and 360°video, the latter is basically the less flexible in terms of interactivity. However, systems that enable interactivity can be applied to a 360°video by a pointer that can be housed normally in the centre of the viewer, combined also for complementary functions with a physical button housed in the playback device.

Using the 360° video content on a PC-screen will enable an even wider range of opportunities when it comes to hotspots and interactivities. However, other methods of interactivity, such as by the classic keyboard, mouse or joystick, are more difficult to adapt. It is by such devices all virtual, or extended reality media technologies (XR) in general, unfold their advantages — including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR). Including also motion sensors, the potential of user interaction, e.g. by hand movements, indeed make XR the preferred media if a high degree of user interaction is the goal. However, application of these interactive features in XR normally will entail the need for expert developers, as well as the need for custom playback devices. In contrast, 360° video generally is easier to develop, and will normally require only off-the-shelf consumer tools for recording and playback.

3. Capture, author and playback

3.1    Recording 360° video

360° videos can be captured with consumer grade 360° video cameras like Insta360 ONE R. There are of course more professional versions that can capture stereoscopic video or more resolution. There are few good practices for recording, but the basic idea is to consider the camera as an observer: Positioning on eye level and aiming lens towards main action.

With device manufacturers software it is possible to convert raw 360° videos in usable format pretty easily without any video editing skills. Afterwards you can use any video editing software to edit your video footage. If you need special effects related to 360° video, you will need special tools. Some video editors like Adobe Premier or DaVinci Resolve, have these options as plugins. When requirements of postprocessing grows, so does the required skill set.

For more information on hardware, programmes and first steps in 360° video producing, the 360ViSi project has published a User Guide on Basic Production of 360-Degree Video. 

3.2    Authoring an interactive experience

There are multiple ways to build 360° video content into an interactive experience. The easiest way is to use an existing tool, like 3DVista, to create a 360° video tour and also include other embedded content.

These tour platforms usually allow the creator to include multiple action points between which the user can teleport. From these different action points the user sees a different 360° video or image that also can include overlays of other interactive content. Such content can usually be additional contextual images, videos or text information. The 360° videos can also be embedded into a VR application (3DVista, 2021).

Interactive VR experiences are built using 3D game engines, like Unity or Unreal Engine with a specialized software development kit (SDK) added on top. Game engines are suitable for VR development because they already deal with real-time 3D rendering and user interactions. A 360° video or image can be used as the background of the application, allowing the addition of interactive 3D models overlay on the video. The output of VR development is usually a desktop application, but there are options for different platforms (Valve, 2021), as referred to below.

Other XR experiences, like interactive augmented reality (AR) content will in turn require other tools. Augmented reality (AR) is an XR technology that overlays and combines virtual data and synthetic graphics with real images and data from the physical world. Some of the current development tools are limited to the platform the content is built for. Common SDKs for AR development include AR Core (Android) and AR Kit (iOS). These SDKs can be utilized in different development environments, like Android Studio and Xcode, and most common SDKs can also be used inside game engines, like Unity or Unreal Engine. There are also more specialized SDKs for different Head-Mounted Displays (HMD), like the Microsoft HoloLens (Chen et al., 2019).

3.3    Consuming 360° and XR media

Both XR and 360° media can be played on several different types of devices. When choosing a playback device, however, there are several factors to consider, such as the capacity for interactivity, the source from which they collect the information and reproduce it, as well as the availability, ease of use and comfort for the user, and not at least, the price.

For 360° video, there are basically two different ways of consuming. Most easily accessible are flat screens with some touching controller, like monitor with mouse or mobile phone with touchscreen or gyroscope. The other way is by Head-Mounted Displays (HMD), or goggles, as discussed further below. HMDs are more immersive, but also custom devices that often needs to be attached to a computer.

With flatscreen devices the only way to interact with a 360° video is to select by clicking and rotating the view. There is also the possibility to use stereoscopic 3D view on smart phones, with a Google Cardboard like headset that divides the sight separately for the left and right eye.

With VR headsets there is the possibility to interact with the environment through controllers and also move in a 3D synthetic space. These more complex interactions demand more from the 3D environment and are not useful features with basic 360° videos.

Consuming AR content varies between use cases. For more entertainment-oriented or just consumer targeted applications, a smart phone is the go-to device to consume AR content. This is due to AR supported smart phones being common. Still, the custom AR Head-Mounted Displays, like the Microsoft HoloLens, are the most suitable and will give the best immersive experience. AR headsets are however a lot more expensive than VR headsets and not targeted towards consumers.

3.3.1      Head-Mounted Display (HMD) devices

VR goggles for PC: The VR goggles that revolutionised virtual reality was the Oculus Rift, followed by others, like the HTC Vive. This type of goggles provides the best user experience, but they require a powerful PC with a good graphics processor capable of emitting satisfactory images.

This type of device is the closest thing to literally being inside a virtual environment. However, such powerful sensation may make the user feel dizzy or unwell. Additionally, the need for cables limits the movements and requires that a distance between two and five metres between the user and the PC should be kept. The installation of the device also needs to be thorough.

Autonomous VR goggles: There are also cordless virtual reality goggles. These autonomous virtual reality goggles have built-in processors, as well as a screen and sensor, all in one.  They operate by a WIFI or Bluetooth connection.

To start using this type of device the user simply needs to put them on, and the experience will start. They have buttons that enable navigation and can be configured to choose what you want to see. Most models are compatible with Samsung and the applications in their catalogue.

Recently, the Oculus Go has been commercialised with LCD screen and an integrated sound system that achieves absolute immersion in the VR experience. Oculus also has a more advanced standalone headset line-up with the Oculus Quest and the Oculus Quest 2 (Oculus, 2020). HTC is also preparing its Vive Standalone, a highly anticipated model, with its own platform and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.

VR goggles for smartphones: (Google Cardboard and VR Gear): These devices are the cheapest option although the experience is obviously not the same as with the custom goggles. The way to use them is simple. A smartphone is installed in the goggles case, and thanks to the lenses of the goggles that make the 3D effect possible, the user will get a feeling of immersion in virtual reality. Their appeal is the simplicity, ease of access and low cost.

With a common smartphone, virtually everyone has the opportunity to enter an immersive environment. Only a cheap cardboard case to house the smartphone is necessary either to play a 360° video from a video platform or an application designed for audio-visual immersion (Google, 2021).

3.3.2      Notes on the future technology of XR media displays

One feature steadily improving in 360° videos and VR headsets is the resolution of the cameras and screens, which alone is a feature to notice that will make a learning experience more immersive. 

Replacing the old Oculus standalone VR headset Quest 1, the Oculus Quest 2, released in October 2020, will improve the entry point for VR headsets. The new model will have higher resolution, refresh rate and improved processing power. 

For PC supported VR, the HP G2 Reverb headset was released the fall 2020. The HP G2 Reverb has a much greater resolution than any consumer grade VR headset so far. It also follows Oculus Rift in the regard of removing the need for additional sensors. 

With the new PS5 coming out soon, the possibility for a PSVR 2 is likely. This may expand the market for a consumer-friendly alternative to VR.

Manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD are always pushing the limits for what a graphics processing unit (GPU) can do. With the recent release of Nvidia’s RTX 3080/3090 it opens for better graphical fidelity in VR, which enhances the immersive experience of VR. 

4. Collaboration in 360° and XR media

Real-time communication and multiuser interaction in synthetic virtual environments is common, typically in real time online games. This feature of XR-technology is indeed also useful in XR-applications for education – opening both for instructor led activities as well as collaborative training and simulated activities, where intelligence in the application also may be applied to influence the experience.

A particular benefit is the independence of space, which makes it possible to interact independent of the location of the participants in the virtual activity.

Another characteristic is that the participants will have to be represented in the virtual environment by an avatar. For some activities this may be an advantage, particularly in simulations. For collaborative activities it is likely to be the opposite, as well as a complex and expensive solution for an activity that better may be solved by consumer, online services for live video-based collaboration.

Recently, several services have been developed for the transmission of real-time 360° video. This solution is still not very much explored, but may indeed prove to open for new ways of both remote collaboration and educational activities ‒ where all participants individually can control the camera viewpoint remotely as they like.

During the lockdown of the Corona pandemic this technology as an example, has been reported to be very useful in remote site inspections and surveys. The platform of Avatour is one such promising online service of real-time 360° video conferencing launched in 2020 during the first spring of the Corona lockdown. The service is presented by Avtour as “…the world’s first multi-party, immersive remote presence platform” (Avatour, 2021).

Also in 2020, 3DVista, a leading provider of 360° video services and software, launched another approach to remote collaboration in a 360° video environment called “Live Guided Tours”. Every participant can navigate the tour as they like or follow the lead of the one controlling the tour. Building on the features of 3DVista’s 360° video editor, the experience may also include multimedia interactive hotspots, enriching the experience (3dvista, 2020), which is particularly relevant for educational purposes.

The latest addition to interaction in an XR immersive environment is Metaverse. In late 2021, Facebook launched Metaverse as their ultimate vision of a social media platform, which is supposed also to include Meta Immersive Learning explained to provide a “…pioneering immersive learning ecosystem”. By the addition of immersive technologies like AR and VR, the claim is that learning will “…become a seamless experience that lets you weave between virtual and physical spaces” (Meta, 2021).

It remains to be seen weather Metaverse will live up to its promise, or at all gain popularity among the public. Still, the vision of Metaverse pinpoints the potential of the XR media technologies, including 360° video, and these media as the next step in virtual social interaction and indeed learning.

Have a look at 360ViSi’s review of Meta Immersive Learning. 

5. References and sources

3dvista. (2020, May 28). Live-Guided Tours.
https://www.3dvista.com/en/blog/live-guided-tours/

3DVista.  (2021). Virtual Tours, 360º video and VR software.
https://www.3dvista.com/en/products/virtualtour

Avatour. (2021).
https://avatour.co/

Chen, Y., Wang, Q., Chen, H., Song, X., Tang, H., Tian, M. (2019). An overview of augmented reality technology, J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 1237 022082

Google VR. (2021). Google Cardboard. Google.
https://arvr.google.com/cardboard/

Hassan Montero, Y. (2002). Introducción a la Usabilidad. No Solo Usabilidad, nº 1, 2002. ISSN 1886-8592. Accessed October 20.
http://www.nosolousabilidad.com/articulos/introduccion_usabilidad.htm

Meta. (2021). Meta Immersive Learning.
https://about.facebook.com/immersive-learning/

Oculus. (2020, September 16). Introducing Oculus Qeust 2, the next generation of all-in-one VR.
https://www.oculus.com/blog/introducing-oculus-quest-2-the-next-generation-of-all-in-one-vr-gaming/

Rustici Software. (2021). cmi5 solved and explained.
https://xapi.com/cmi5/

Sánchez, W. (2011). La usabilidad en Ingeniería de Software: definición y características. Ing-novación. Revista de Ingeniería e Innovación de la Facultad de Ingeniería. Universidad Don Bosco. Año 1, No. 2. pp. 7-21. ISSN 2221-1136.

Valve. (2021), SteamVR Unity Plugin.
https://valvesoftware.github.io/steamvr_unity_plugin/    

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Metaverse potential for education

Image: Facsimile from Meta’s Oculus workrooms.

Analysis by Jaime Diaz, Quasar Dynamics

Metaverse is a concept defining the next generation of the internet, describing an immersive, multi-sensory experience based on the use of multiple devices and technological developments. A 3D universe that combines multiple virtual spaces.

How can the metaverse be used?

We understand the metaverse as the combination of technology and software that moves the user’s mind to an environment that is different in sensory perception from where they physically are. This would include the use of VR headsets, controllers, or haptic suits (see image).

A haptic suit (also known as tactile suit, gaming suit or haptic vest) is a wearable device that provides haptic feedback to the body. Photo: Teslasuit.

Immersive Education is designed to immerse and engage students in the same way that today’s best video games grab and keep the attention of players. It supports self-directed learning as well as collaborative group-based learning environments that can be delivered over the Internet.

Some of the possible uses that metaverses could have in educational experiences are described below.

Laboratory experiments

The real laboratory equipment, tools and machinery are expensive. Imagine a chemistry class where a teacher wants to observe the formation of four acids that occur in acid rain. Such an illustrative presentation would require multiple pH sensors, test tubes, protection glasses, burets…

In addition to the economic realities, we should not forget the risks that these kinds of experiments entail.

Quasar Dynamics, one of the 360 ViSi partners, created a complete 3D laboratory to emulate a very common practice in engineering degrees where the students had to use a power supply, a function generator, oscilloscope and a polimeter.

To interact with the environment, students used VR glasses and controllers. As the students “broke” the tools frequently by connecting the wrong poles, this was the best way to save costs but yet learn by using a practical method.

Museums and tours

Imagine if students could visit the most important museums in the world every week.  Metaverse enables this mental transition to the 3D museums.

Quasar Dynamics also developed a 3D art gallery where artists can upload their artworks, such as 3D sculptures, configure the gallery with furniture or add videos and audio recordings. You can visit the gallery here.

Immersive conferences

Meta also released interesting software for real-time 3D conferences. Even with its business focus, it can be used in education, especially for students that have to interact remotely.

In the workrooms, attendees can wear VR headsets or just use flat-screen computers. They can start drawing on a virtual board, add images or different content for others to see. When using VR glasses, an avatar of the user is displayed showing the user’s own tracked hands. This working method could be the future for meetings or work presentations for online education.

Advantages and disadvantages

The metaverse has the advantage of being a completely 3D experience in real-time, allowing the developer to build an environment without the barriers that reality imposes. For example, it is possible to recreate the interior of the International Space Station without having to be there.

However, the metaverse is a young technology that still needs development. Some environments are still laggy if you do not have a powerful, expensive device that many companies are not currently supporting.

In addition, there is some fear that the metaverse will create a generation of people with poor social skills due to a lack of interaction with the real world.

In summary, the metaverse is the future. Not only for educational purposes but also for a lifestyle. We must ensure that students benefit from its technological advancements while still remaining competitive in real life.

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Video meeting in 360 environment 


By setting up a video meeting inside a virtual environment, the participants can navigate, discuss and present on the same platform. 

Screenshot from testing this feature. The case is from University of Stavanger’s 360Visi case on ward rounds.

Read more about the ward round case here!

About the 3D Vista feature

According to 3D Vista, it is possible to take guests “by the hand” on a shared virtual tour with personal guidance. Synchronizing where you look, you can take turns on controlling the virtual tour.  

Users are able to explore on their own, and the host can pick them back up anytime to follow the host’s route.

Live Guided Tours are accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, so individuals attending the live video meeting can dial in from their mobile phones as well. 

More than screen sharing

So why not just use Zoom with a normal virtual tour then? According to 3DVista, both quality and speed are better. Sharing a multimedia-intense virtual tour via a screenshare often results in jerky images, latency and overall an undesirable experience.

With 3DVista Live Guided Tours every participant is inside their own actual virtual tour and sees their own media with the participant video bubbles overlaid on top. This preserves the quality of the virtual tour images and the smoothness when moving through the rooms – even if they’re controlled by somebody else, according to 3DVista’s webpage.

Another advantage argued by 3DVista, is that you are preserving interactivity, the essence of a virtual tour. Screen sharing a virtual tour would not allow participants to take control of the tour and explore themselves. With 3DVista Live Guided Tours (and the permission of the host), any guest can deviate from the route and navigate on their own, open any hotspots they’d be interested in and feel in full control of the virtual visit.

By Kåre Spanne, Media Engineer at the University of Stavanger

Sources  

https://www.3dvista.com/en/products/lgt/

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Testing the 360 video technology in Valencia

Through the Oculus Quest 360 goggles, the students could “visit” a patient. During this home call, the students were able to see the patient and the real-life surroundings, assess the patient, and, as a part of the study case, solve a quiz.

After the 360 experience, the students filled out a survey to rate the immersion. All agreed on the effectiveness of virtual learning and hoped to have more of this type of education.

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360ViSi case on national television in Norway

Interactive art exhibitions created by Screen Story for Stavanger Art Museum, as test cases for the 360ViSi project.

The Erasmus organisation aims to involve private companies in their Knowledge Alliances and create business opportunities for them. Why? Because it will increase the quality and relevance of the project, boost innovation and enhance knowledge sharing.

In addition to the four universities participating in 360ViSi, three companies from the private sector contribute: Screen Story from Norway, ADE from Finland and Quasar Dynamics from Spain.

Screen Story creates interactive art exhibitions

The 360ViSi project was launched around the same time as the corona pandemic exploded and the world went into shutdown, making it challenging for the project partners to test technology and methods.

It turns out, however, that when some doors close, others open. Screen Story was asked to help their customer Stavanger Art Museum to find new solutions to overcome the problems the pandemic forced on them.

Øyvind Torjusen from Screen Story.

– The art museum had to close its doors for a while due to national restrictions, but still wanted to make their newest exhibition available to the public. Thus, we could create an interactive online version, and at the same time use it as a test in the 360ViSi project, says producer Øyvind Torjusen in Screen Story.

Broadcasted on national news

When restrictions were lifted and Stavanger Art Museum reopened its doors, the museum had discovered the value of digital exhibitions. The exhibitions reach a larger audience, and especially those who do not have the opportunity to visit the museum physically. Therefore, Stavanger Art Museum continues to create interactive digital solutions together with Screen Story.

See one of the digital art exhibitions here.

https://stavangerkunstmuseum.no/events/hafsten-samlingen-i-360

Broadcaster NRK made a report on national television news about the latest exhibition and interviewed a group of elderly people who experienced it through tablets. You can see the story (in Norwegian) here:

https://tv.nrk.no/serie/distriktsnyheterrogaland/202110/DKRO98102621/avspiller#t=2m59s

– This proves that 360 video technology represents business opportunities for companies like us. We will definitely offer this kind of solutions to more customers in the future, says Torjusen.

From Norwgian broadcaster NRK’s news story.
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Company point of view to the 360ViSi Editor

Learn about the Turku Game Lab here.

Together with Tarja Enala, a senior advisor at Business Finland, the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion, the visitors were introduced to the 360ViSi Editor and explained how 360 video can be used in education.

Project engineer Mikko Österman gave the visitors a guided tour through the software that enables teachers to compile and edit simulations from separate 360-videos.

Mikko Österman presents 360ViSi Editor to Mr Ajit, Dr Ritez Kumar, Mr Anuj Chahal and Dr Sunil Tomar.

The visitors saw how a simulation can be built and what features it already has.

“From our point of view, the concept is great”, says Dr Kumar. “The idea can be applied in many fields. It is going to happen since the resources to learning premises are limited.”

Dr Kumar continues that the positive side of the software is that it allows students to proceed at their own pace and practice at any time. That has also a bigger impact:

“The concept also democratizes the sometimes elite rehearsing opportunities.”

Dr Kumar, NeoSim Oy
Principal lecturer Mika Luimula and vice Rector Juhani Soini presenting the Turku Game Lab while the project is being demonstrated in the foreground.
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The state of digital technology in higher education

The State Secretary at the Ministry of Research and Higher Education opened the panel which was held to launch a government report on the state of digital technology in higher education in Norway.

Watch a recording of the meeting (in Norwegian) here.

Project Manager for 360ViSi, Atle Løkken.

Atle Løkken was invited to share insights from the ongoing 360ViSi Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance and also his 20 years of experience with development of digital tools in education. In fact, the report mentions the DigiSim project, another Erasmus+ project Løkken has been a part of, and the predecessor to 360ViSi.

DigiSim is an app where student nurses can train on different procedures. The app is free of charge and can be downloaded on Google Play and App Store.

Digital technology can enhance pedagogic development

The new national report shows that the use of digital technology in higher education can contribute to:

  • more student-activating teaching methods
  • pedagogical development, especially in practical subjects
  • increased access to higher education

The report concludes that the use of digital technology must be an integral part of a holistic learning and teaching design, and teachers and students must have both an understanding of and competence in the use of digital tools with a pedagogical goal.

Invited to present the 360ViSi project to VID

After Atle Løkken talked about 360ViSi in the meeting, he was contacted by VID Specialized University, an accredited, private higher education institution in Norway.

VID has a project where they try to develop a digital learning environment using 360° video and would like to connect to share information and lessons learned.

Løkken was invited to talk about 360ViSi in a digital seminar VID is holding on the use of 360° video in education on 4 February – where Mari Linn Larsen and Kåre Spanne from the 360ViSi team presented and demonstrated the results from the project.

Mari Linn Larsen from UiS in a meeting with VID, demonstrating a 360ViSi simulation environment for nursing students who are preparing for clinical practice. Read more about it here: Realistic training to improve quality of ward rounds

So – exciting times! We are so happy when information about 360ViSi reaches other individuals, companies or institutions who we can collaborate with or learn from! 

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Demonstrated immersive reality on Valencia StartUp Market

VLC Startup Market is an event organised by the Innovative Development Area of the Valencia City Council. The goal is to create a great showcase for startups, thus bringing all the innovation and technology that is developed in València closer to the public.

From Quasar Dynamic’s exhibition stand.

360ViSi partner Quasar Dynamics was one of the exhibitors, and also developed a promotional 360° where Pilar Bernabé, the councilor for economic development in Valencia, presents the event.

Quasar Dynamic also created a virtual reality futuristic environment where the public could access information about the startup market, such as map, programme, exhibitors, events etc. In order to interact with the menu, the user just had to stare at the different elements.

See a video of what they created here:

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Realistic training to improve quality of ward rounds

The daily surgical ward round in a hospital is an important arena for interprofessional collaboration and communication between physicians, nurses, and patients. To be a skilled interprofessional team worker is an important learning outcome in the nurse education program. That is why University of Stavanger has developed an interactive 360° training environment for nursing students. Important factors in this tool are to help the nursing students to achieve clear communication and good cooperation, as well as awareness about the process and roles in the current setting.

Professor Ingrid Tjoflåt preparing for the 360° shoot.
Monitoring the camera input on the connected ipad.

“We want the nursing students to learn to take an active role and “speak up” during the rounds. The nursing students and the nurses are more in contact with the patients than the physicians, so their knowledge about the patient condition is very important during rounds,” says Ingrid Tjoflåt, professor at Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Stavanger.

The solution can also be used by wards to increase awareness about ward rounds and facilitate discussions on how to handle them.

Four cases in one ward

The interactive training solution takes the nursing students into a surgical ward with four patients. The ward is presented using a 360° image and the interaction takes place through hotspots connected to each patient. A hotspot is an effect that is clickable to the user, for instance text boxes, videos etc.

In this case, the hotspots provide the user with information about the patients’ condition, and medical progress. In addition, the user is given tasks or questions designed to encourage reflections and discussions. With one of the patients, a video of communication between the patient, the physician and the nurse is shown.

Test the training environment here.

“We want nursing students who are about to embark on their clinical practice period to use this training environment as a preparation. It could also be used by educators as part of the clinical supervision of nursing students. The solution is simple but effective. It is obvious what we want the student to learn, which is important to the learning process,” Tjoflåt explains.

Effective production of 360° training environment

Producing this training environment was done very effectively. Due to thorough planning, the recording of images and video only took two hours. It is easy to develop the solution further with new diagnoses and updated information.

Read more about the process for creating 360° learning experiences

Preparations in advance:

  • A detailed script
  • Two planning meetings
  • Quality assurance and feedback about the script from nurses and physician on a surgical ward
  • Communicating the script and plans to actors

After the recording:

  • Creating and filling in material for the hotspots

Research project

The training environment will be part of a planned research project, where the goal is to evaluate how 360 video simulation cases from a hospital surgical ward round can ensure nursing students’ knowledge and confidence during the nursing training. Moreover, to explore how nurse educators at the Bachelor program in Nursing at the University of Stavanger (UiS) perceive 360 video simulations as a learning tool.

Check out the training environment yourself!