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Visual learning platform Lifeliqe (pronounced “life-like”), has begun piloting mixed-reality educational applications for kids using Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality smartglasses.
Lifeliqe is targeting its interactive 3D apps at children in grades six to 12. Lifeliqe previously launched its educational content on the HTC Vive virtual reality headset, as well as the Windows PC and iOS.
Students and teachers at Renton Prep in Seattle, Wash., and Castro Valley Unified College in Castro Valley, Calif. took part in the pilot and were the first to try out Lifeliqe’s educational content on HoloLens during a science lesson.
“We’ve been using virtual reality as part of education at school for several months. It seems that students have a preference for mixed reality for learning, but the reason for [that] will be our next round of investigation,” said Michelle Zimmerman, director of innovative teaching and learning sciences at Renton Prep, in a statement.
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The students used Lifeliqe on HoloLens in lessons on the circulatory system and on electronegativity. Overall, students, teachers, and homeschoolers will be able to access more than 1,000 ready-to-use 3D-augmented reality models and lesson plans and create and share their own content.
“When using Lifeliqe’s learning experiences, students were excited to dive into the blood vessel because they could visualize it, which should help their memory retention,“ said Richard Schneck, career specialist at Castro Valley Unified College, in a statement.
More students and teachers will soon be able to experience Lifeliqe on HoloLens, as the pilots will be conducted at a number of schools in coming weeks.
“Mixed reality offers completely unique means to deliver educational content, and we are excited to take another step forward in providing immersive learning experiences,” said Ondrej Homola, Lifeliqe CEO, in a statement. “The excitement we witnessed during the pilot shows us the great potential mixed reality has in sparking lightbulb moments.”
Microsoft is the second major tech company to start cooperating with Lifeliqe on content development. In 2016, Lifeliqe was chosen by HTC Vive as a strategic partner for education.
“We are thrilled to work with Lifeliqe to pilot mixed reality curriculum in secondary education,” said Lorraine Bardeen, general manager of Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Experiences, in a statement. “3D and mixed reality has amazing potential to improve learning comprehension, and we are excited to explore its possibilities in the classroom.”
Homola said, “We are blessed to have such a unique position in VR, AR, and MR as a content platform in the non-gaming space. The interest we are constantly raising among [device makers] shows us that our content is valuable…to the end users but also serves as a valuable medium to enrich and light up the hardware platforms.”
Lifeliqe is working with Richard Lamb, associate professor at the University at Buffalo, to study the exact effects of VR on learning sciences by measuring the retention of knowledge and comparing it to retention with traditional means of learning.
Lifeliqe is based in San Francisco, at the Upload Collective, and has a team in the Czech Republic. The company has 14 employees and has raised money from friends and family. Homola founded the company in November 2015.
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