While immersive gaming technologies rapidly advance, their potential in the education market remains largely untapped. The U.S. Department of Education’s EdSim Challenge, which we powered on their behalf, set out to attract game and simulation designers to the career training space.
This week, the Department named Osso VR, a hands-on surgical training platform that helps students learn the career skills needed for a globally competitive workforce, as the Challenge winner. While Osso VR will take home the $430,000 grand prize, the EdSim Challenge inspired nearly 250 teams to generate ideas for educational simulations.
The Challenge helped the VR and AR industry apply its expertise in gaming to applications for education, skills training, and career exploration. Over the past six months, Challenge finalists refined their concepts with the help of expert mentors and an in-person bootcamp. The Virtual Accelerator cumulated in a Demo Day, where the finalists pitched their simulations in front of the Challenge judges and a live audience. As is the case with many open innovation challenges, we expect to see a number of teams go on to launch startups that shape the future of education technology.
Testing and validating augmented and virtual reality solutions for the education market could have a profound impact on the next generation of our workforce. Students who currently aren’t exposed to a wide variety of careers can easily immerse themselves in a range of environments. Immersion allows students to envision their future in a new way and levels the playing field across classrooms in different types of communities.
Congratulations, Osso VR — We’ll see you in the operating room.