Local Tech Start-Up Hopes to Change the Face of Education

The cutting edge San Antonio tech start-up Merge VR has already made a name in the growing virtual reality and augmented reality space, and this week the firm is moving to change the way your kids are taught at school, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Merge VR Marketing Director Steve Patti is attending a school tech conference where he plans to present on how virtual reality and augmented reality (think the Pokemon Go fad of last summer) can become the teaching tools of the future, especially when it comes to reaching kids who have spent literally their entire lives watching video on mobile devices.

"The brain is wired to process imagery 60,000 times faster than you can read and process text," he said.

Patti says the answer is not school kids spending the entire day with VR goggles strapped onto their little faces, but he wants to demonstrate how virtual and augmented reality can help make static lessons come alive for kids, much like happened with the introduction of television into the classroom in the 1960s.

"What AR and VR are able to do is go beyond video and more static visual imagery, to actually creating a more immersive environment where you can actually experience the learning."

He cites the successful Merge Cube, which is the centerpiece of the company's game technology.  In fact, the Merge Cube has been used to bring new life to the eighties 'Rubik's Cube,' because, when paired with a smart phone app, the cube essentially becomes another item.

Patti says that can happen in the classroom, too.

"You are able to rotate pottery shard from Pompeii, or you have able to rotate a dinosaur bone in three dimensions to understand what that might look like."

He says not only can VR and AR in the classroom help teachers connect with the wired iGen students, but also to help the innate imaginations of children be put to use on lessons, instead of daydreaming in the classroom.

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