We often witness major technological developments and changes that surround us in everyday life. Sometimes it seems that changes happen too quickly and that we have not even managed to explore all the possibilities of our “new” device, that it has already become obsolete. However, it cannot prevent us from being impressed by new possibilities of using gestures, touch, voice recognition in communication with our computers, which are ready to create 3D experience for us.
Technology in many homes today works at our command, even more: they can work on our behalf helping us to make better decisions. An example is informing us when our plants need watering or more sunlight. Sitting at home, people are able to visit their favorite places abroad such as an art gallery or museum and choose to experience virtual tours of remote places. 3D images of the exhibits appear on the screen, and it is possible to talk with the gallery curator and pick up any of the pieces on display. All these devices mix in with the environment and the physical and digital world come together to provide a whole new experience. Homes, schools and many public places (not only theme parks and museums as in the past) are furnished with such devices, and teachers can organize their teaching using different interactive zones.
Just a few years ago I could read about -almost at the same time it was happening- an interesting pilot study conducted by Ghuloum Husein, a researcher at Salford University. The research was conducted through the questionnaires which were submitted to 400 teachers from different levels in the UK. A large percentage of respondents believed that hologram technology will support the learning process very soon in the future. The highest percentage of teachers who were not sure if this technology would enhance the educational process or not were teachers in primary stages of education. Most of the teachers, especially in higher education emphasized the importance of the hologram in supporting the educational process.
Those who were sure of the importance of the 3DHT as of an effective tool of teaching in the future were teachers in upper secondary schools and higher education. Most participants mentioned that this technology would not change the face of education. In their opinion the main barriers that might have hindered the integration of 3DHT into learning environment would have been the high cost of installation and requirement of high-speed Internet connection. Meanwhile, innovations occurred in the field of reducing costs and improving installations, so that even those last doubts have been successfully removed.
Even nowadays, I admit that I could agree with the doubtful teachers questioned in the above mentioned study in many aspects except for the Microsoft HoloLens which seem to be an innovative idea of the future indeed. It is hard not to believe that it will considerably change the face of education. We use technology in every aspects of our lives, and it enables us to do amazing things. But isn’t it really amazing to go beyond the screen? By these words Microsoft has presented the world of Holograms. The Holograms would enable us new ways to visualize our work, and new ways to share ideas with each other. They would enable us new ways to teach and learn. New ways to create things we imagine. And, as they say, when you change the way you see the world, you can change the world you see. This is Microsoft HoloLens.
There isn’t a screen to touch or mouse to click. Microsoft HoloLens understands our movements, vision and voice, enabling us to interact with content and information. Together with Windows 10, Microsoft HoloLens brings forth a powerful new holographic platform.
I know that people are going to buy it and apply because of the sense of power or the simplicity of interaction with that kind of technology within the real world. For those who are interested in revealing the magic of this scientific secret, let’s mention only some very basic information which could help us understand a part of the magic. For example, what is a hologram? It is a light wave interference pattern recorded on photographic film (or any other suitable surface) that can produce 3D image when it is highlighted in a special way.
Interference pattern recorded on photographic film is the result of combining two beams of light, a reference beam and the object beam. Working beam is made to interact with the object, while the reference beam is not. A film sensitive to light is exposed to such a light pattern and then, under chemical treatment, as with ordinary photographs, a snapshot is developed.The sample recorded in that way distorts the light that passes through it. Simply, when a hologram is illuminated by light that corresponds to the reference beam, the light bends as the replica of the original object beam. When we look at that beam we see a perfect picture of the object.
The applying of 3DH technology in teaching will considerably change the face of education. All former ways of teaching prearrangement need to be adjusted. The duration of lessons will change and the teachers will need help in getting prepared by technicians specialized for giving support. There will always be some teachers who will grumble when they face the changes, but they will soon be amazed by the wonderful results of their work in 3DHT.
How will these technological developments influence life and art depends on each personal ability to develop his/her own original ideas. Do you remember the first sound films or color films? They were no better in artistic sense just because they were equipped with progressive technologies. Charlie Caplin continued to work even better taking advantage of sound films. There is still a lot of beauty to express on the part of any artist, or on the part of a good teacher while retelling a good story. So, isn’t it our fortunate that we live in the time in which dreams from our childhood become the reality of our life?