In this article, we will explore the impact of augmented and virtual reality on national parks, specifically how they are changing our experience of visiting natural landscapes. We focus on free virtual tours that allow us to see the beauty of national parks without leaving home. We will also reveal the main advantages of augmented reality, which enrich the visiting of real parks with the help of digital content with interesting information.
In particular, we will share our experience of creating tourist VR excursions using the example of the Carpathian Mountains Virtual Tour and Medieval Fortress Virtual Journey. We will also explore other famous AR/VR use cases, e.g., the State Parks of California, giving us a unique perspective on our national parks’ historical and ecological significance.
Discovering Benefits of AR and VR in National Parks
Virtual and augmented reality offer such benefits to national parks as
- Getting informative content on the spot. When visiting parks and other historical places, visitors usually don’t know about this or that type of plant or even in which part of the park they are. With the help of an AR application, a tourist can simply point the screen at a particular plant and get additional information about it.
Read also: The Ways AR Redefines Modern Tourism
Speaking about orientation in place, AR navigation will come in handy here, which guides the tourist in the right direction with the help of digital pointers.
- Visiting places that aren’t accessible for you. During the COVID-19 pandemic and home isolation, virtual tours of museums or national parks were one of the popular alternatives to visiting real tourist locations. Even though the pandemic began to gradually fade away, virtual tours continue to be relevant. By visiting free tours on museums or park websites, an Internet user saves money on the ticket, car fuel, and transportation. Especially when a person does not always have an opportunity to get to the place where, perhaps, he would like to go. “The advantage is that you can go somewhere and experience the same feelings without leaving your home. Virtual guides have musical accompaniment, the effect of presence thus allows you to immerse yourself in the environment. This is all about VR. Plus, not all of us can go to Papua New Guinea or somewhere else to look at bamboo, baobabs, etc. Or go on safari. Therefore, these are opportunities to visit somewhere without spending additional funds,” said Oleksandr Ivanov, project manager of Qualium Systems.
- Drawing attention to ecology, rare plants and animals. As you know, there are more than 35,000 species of endangered plants and animals in the world, 99% of which are endangered due to human activities. With virtual and augmented reality for parks that are the home for these species of animals, it becomes possible to tell about these endangered species to a wider audience. As of July 2023, there are almost 7 billion people in the world who have smartphones, which is more than 86% of the entire population of the planet.
Qualium System’s Virtual Tours of National Parks
Qualium Systems has great experience in developing VR excursions. Carpathian Mountains Virtual Tour is an application for Meta Quest, created as part of The World Of Carpathian Rosettes — Activities For Preserving The Cultural Uniqueness Of The Carpathians project by the Euroregion Carpathians — Ukraine association with the financial support of the European Union. The main goal of this program is to preserve the cultural uniqueness of the Ukrainian Carpathians.
The main challenge in the development of this virtual tour was to introduce more than 260 photo and video materials into the program while providing the VR headset users with such an experience as if they were visiting a real museum.
In this application, a tourist can explore virtual settlements in the Carpathians, both with the effect of presence in these settlements and from a bird’s eye view. There is also the option of a “bicycle trip” available. A tourist can “ride” along the Franko route, which is a path in the forest, famous Ukrainian poet Ivan Franko liked to travel.
Also, our developers are working on another virtual tour of the medieval fortress in the Ukrainian town of Tustan. Unlike the previous tour, a VR headset user will not only be able to see the digital environment with exhibits but also interact with them.
“With the help of VR, you can not only be there, in that museum, but also take the artifacts, examine, bring them up to your forehead. You could see everything down to every crack,” said Oleksandr Ivanov, project manager of Qualium Systems.
Unveiling Diverse Use Cases of AR and VR in National Parks
Our company pays attention to virtual tours and giving people the opportunity to see places that are inaccessible to them due to various circumstances. We constantly monitor the latest trends in the modern IT industry, and there are other famous examples that will be mentioned later.
Virtual Reality Adventures in California State Parks
The California Department of Parks and Recreation has introduced virtual and augmented reality tours for 9 parks located in the state of California. In the Virtual Adventurer mobile app, tourists get a guided tour that tells the story of each of the parks, including Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, Montana de Oro State Park, Old Town San Diego Historic Park, and others. Moreover, futuristic holograms and 3D reconstructions are also involved.
“The app also supports and enhances the department’s Reexamining Our Past Initiative by developing content for parks that tells a more complete, accurate, and inclusive history of people and places,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero.
Great Barrier Reef’s Virtual Realms
As mentioned above, virtual excursions allow gadget users to get to places they would be unlikely to get to in real life. The same is true for the underwater attractions. Not every tourist wants to spend their time and money not only to reach, for example, Australia but also to train diving skills and buy a wetsuit with an oxygen cylinder.
In this case, one can explore the Great Barrier Reef in the 180 video format without the need to dive into the real ocean. This two-minute experience was created by ECOVR for Meta Quest. The main purpose of the virtual coral reef excursion is meditation and relaxation.
Free Virtual Tour to Ambrym Volcano
Short VR tours also come in handy when a user wants to see natural places that contain potential danger while sitting on their cozy couches. For example, you can explore a virtual tour in the 360 video format from Red Bull, which tells about a scientific expedition to an active volcano on the island of Ambrym, the Republic of Vanuatu, the South Pacific Ocean. The video is also accompanied by an audio narration that tells about the features of the Benbow volcano and how dangerous this expedition is.
Thanks to virtual reality tours, we can now discover the wonders of the pristine landscapes, whether we are physically present or miles away. Free VR tours of natural national monuments can deepen our understanding of the importance of preserving rare and endangered species of plants and animals. VR excursions also provide more knowledge and a clearer understanding of the ecological status and historical significance of national parks.
As augmented and virtual reality continue to evolve, their potential impact on strengthening the bond between humanity and nature holds promise for the future, inspiring us to become better stewards of our beloved national parks and the environment as a whole.
Dental education is a demanding discipline, requiring students to develop precise manual dexterity, particularly in preclinical restorative dentistry. In the past, students have been trained using conventional phantom heads or mannequins, offering a simulated but less tactile experience for practising procedures. However recent advancements in haptic feedback technology have transformed preclinical dental education, providing a more immersive and tactile training experience! The Importance of Haptic Feedback in Dental Education In dental education, the development of psychomotor skills is paramount. Dental students must hone their manual dexterity to perform procedures with precision and efficiency. Traditionally, students have trained on phantom heads, but these models lack the realistic tactile sensations experienced during real clinical procedures. Furthermore, the use of plastic teeth in these training models not only fails to replicate the natural variability of real teeth but also raises environmental concerns due to plastic waste. Obtaining natural human teeth for training purposes is also challenging due to ethical constraints. Haptic feedback technology has emerged as a game-changer in dental education. Haptic devices, such as Simodont, provide realistic tactile force feedback, allowing students to practice procedures on virtual patients. This technology offers several advantages: Realistic Sensations: Haptic technology simulates the resistance and pressure experienced in real clinical settings, enhancing students’ motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. Safe and Controlled Environment: Haptic-based training allows students to practice dental operations indefinitely in a safe and controlled environment without the risk of harming a living patient. Personalized Feedback: The technology can provide personalized feedback to students, helping them identify areas where they may be applying too much or too little pressure and deviations from the proper trajectory. Limitations of Conventional Phantom Head Training Despite the advantages of traditional phantom head training, it has several limitations: Lack of Realistic Tactile Sensations: Phantom heads do not provide the tactile feedback experienced in real clinical settings, which can hinder students’ skill development. Environmental Concerns: The use of plastic teeth in phantom heads leads to plastic waste, contributing to environmental issues. Limited Reproducibility: Real patient procedures are not repeatable for practice, limiting students’ exposure to various clinical scenarios. Read also: Empowering Doctors And Patients: How Augmented Reality Transforms Healthcare How VR and AR Address These Limitations Haptic feedback devices, when integrated with VR and AR technologies, offer solutions to the limitations of traditional training methods: Realistic Tactile Sensations: VR and AR technologies create immersive virtual environments that replicate real clinical scenarios, enhancing the realism of training. Personalized Learning: These technologies allow for personalized feedback and performance evaluation, enabling students to identify and correct errors in real-time. Unlimited Reproducibility: VR and AR enable students to practice procedures repeatedly in diverse and realistic scenarios, ultimately improving their clinical competence. The integration of haptic feedback technology in dental education, especially when combined with VR and AR, has revolutionized preclinical training for dental students. It addresses the limitations of traditional training methods by providing realistic tactile sensations, personalized learning, and unlimited reproducibility!
Navigating the intricate maze of technological progress and human engagement reveals a constantly shifting terrain. Haptic devices stand out as the vanguard in this revolution, and WEART is undoubtedly leading the charge. In this expanded discourse, we at Qualium Systems, specialists in custom IT engineering, explore the engineering marvels and the expansive business applications of WEART’s pioneering haptic technology. The Technical Ecosystem: A Deeper Dive Hardware Innovation: More than Just Touch WEART’s devices go beyond mere simulation to recreate tactile sensations intricately. The wearables make use of cutting-edge actuators and sensors to offer a wide spectrum of tactile experiences, from the velvety softness of a petal to the ruggedness of a rock. 1. Actuators: Employing both mechanical and electronic components, actuators deliver precise tactile feedback. They play a crucial role in mimicking various textures, thermal cues and forces, pushing the boundaries of what users can ‘feel’ digitally. 2. Sensors: These aren’t your everyday touch sensors. WEART’s sensors can detect minute changes in pressure and movement, making the haptic interface responsive and incredibly realistic. Software Engineering: Facilitating Haptic Integration Qualium Systems takes pride in offering SDKs compatible with both Unity and Unreal Engine, making the integration of WEART’s groundbreaking haptic features easier than ever. 1. Unity & Unreal Engine SDKs: These engines are favored by developers for their ease of use and flexibility. Our SDKs are tailored for these platforms, offering rapid prototyping and high-fidelity rendering capabilities. 2. Custom APIs: Our SDKs come with a range of APIs that allow you to fine-tune the haptic experience to align with specific use-cases or requirements. 3. Data Analytics: The SDKs also include telemetry functions that capture key metrics. Businesses can assess user engagement in real-time, modifying experiences for better interaction. Expanded Case Study: The Transformational Power of Haptic Technology in VR Chemistry Lessons A Paradigm Shift in Science Education Our VR Chemistry Lessons App is a landmark example of how WEART’s haptic technology can revolutionize education. Typically, the teaching of chemistry has relied heavily on theoretical knowledge, supplemented occasionally by lab experiments. The WEART-enabled VR Chemistry App changes this equation dramatically. 1. Molecular Vibration: For the first time, students can tangibly feel the vibrations and movements of molecules, providing an entirely new dimension to understanding kinetic energy. 2. Chemical Reactions: Imagine the educational impact of feeling the heat dissipate in an exothermic reaction or the sudden cold in an endothermic process. It’s not just theory; it’s practically hands-on learning. 3. Substance Interaction: Different elements and compounds come with unique textures and properties. Our app lets students ‘touch’ these materials virtually, further enriching their understanding. The Birth of Dynamic Learning Environments The integration of WEART’s technology moves education from a unidimensional, rote-learning model to a multi-sensory, experience-driven paradigm. This shift is monumental in helping students better retain and apply complex scientific concepts. Business Implications: Why This Matters to You Economic Efficiency: Beyond Cost Savings Integrating WEART’s haptic devices significantly reduces the overheads associated with conventional training methods. Virtual reality setups eliminate the need for physical resources and spaces, making training efficient and cost-effective. Customer Experience: A New Frontier Introducing a tactile component to your services enhances the overall user experience. Whether it’s a virtual showroom or an online educational platform, the added layer of tactile interaction can make your services unforgettable. Competitive Strategy: The First-Mover Advantage In a market that is continually evolving, early adoption of new technologies like WEART’s haptic devices can give you a significant edge. It’s not just a matter of staying current; it’s about leading the charge in the new age of digital interaction. Final Remarks: The Road Ahead The amalgamation of WEART’s groundbreaking haptic technology with Qualium Systems’ expertise in software development is a game-changer. Whether you’re an innovator in the technical sphere or a forward-thinking business owner, the era of multi-sensory computing has arrived. The scope of what this technology can achieve is only limited by our imagination. At Qualium Systems, we’re excited to be your partners in this exhilarating journey into the future.
Today, modern technologies provide incredible opportunities in numerous areas, including the hotel business. This technology creates a deep connection between the guest and the hotel, overturning the usual idea of hospitality. Virtual reality allows you to surprise guests with immersive unique experiences that are not only exciting but also facilitate the activities of the establishments themselves. In this article, we’ll look at how virtual reality revolutionizes the hospitality industry and helps to deliver unparalleled guest experiences. Exploring Diverse Dimensions of VR in Hospitality There are several main areas where virtual reality is most often used in the hotel industry, including virtual tours, staff training, and VR entertainment. Enhancing Guest Experiences through VR VR hotel tours are one of the most popular directions where virtual reality is typically when dealing with hospitality. Before checking in, guests can take a trial visit to the property in VR to assess the hotel environment. This technique will help to better understand where exactly they want to stay, in which room, and whether this hotel meets the requirements. “One of the reasons why VR marketing has taken on a viral tone, arises from the fact, that guests will be provided with a hands-on point of view when making an important booking decision. Using such technology clearly illustrates that the property in question is keeping abreast of the latest digital trends. Today, VR tours can be easily placed on an online platform, through the rise of cost-effective software packages,” according to Keystone Hospitality Property Development. For example, the Atlantis Dubai Virtual Tour shows future customers what the hotel looks like, starting with the exterior and ending with the appearance of the hotel rooms. The experience was filmed in the 360o format. Thriving Frontier of VR Entertainment in Hotels Once your guests have checked into their hotel rooms, they should receive high-quality entertainment offered by the hotel chain itself. These can be virtual reality rooms for guests to spend their free time. For example, the Polish spa resort Czarny Potok also has a virtual reality room where visitors can play various games in VR headsets. In addition, virtual reality can be used as a preview of real entertainment available. Before your guest tries, for example, sightseeing, they can get a preview of a tourist destination they could go to. Consider a VR tour of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. Read also: Virtual Tours of National Parks. Discovering Nature’s Beauty through AR and VR Navigating Future of Hotel Reservations through VR Another area of virtual reality that is developing in the hotel industry is VR booking. Similar to virtual sightseeing, a user can see the chosen vacation spot for themselves, though the range of possibilities of VR booking is wider. So, a VR headset user sees a digital globe of the Earth in front of them and decides on the point where they want to go. Next, they interact with a 3D model of the plane, which clearly shows the seats that can be reserved. Moreover, there is an opportunity to rent a car and choose the price of this rental. With virtual booking, users can select a payment method by scanning and adding a digital credit card. Virtual booking from Amadeus IT Group provides such options to users with VR glasses. VR’s Role in Transforming Hotel Staff Training In the hotel industry, virtual reality is used not only to serve customers but also to improve customer service. Virtual reality training, which fully reproduces the real work environment in digital reality, is an effective tool to improve the efficiency of hotel staff. For example, the Best Western Hotels chain recorded a 71% decrease in the number of customer complaints after the introduction of VR training. Virtual training is already used by the famous Hilton network. In this training, employees use VR headsets to immerse themselves in the digital space that reproduces the hotel.There, they perform various tasks typical for the hotel staff: cleaning the room, preparing a cart with lunch, and checking in guests. The integration of virtual reality marks a revolutionary step towards improving the guest experience and redefining the hospitality industry. With the introduction of virtual reality in hotels, guests are no longer limited by physical boundaries. Virtual tours of hotels and attractions allow them to go on exciting journeys and explore these places without leaving their homes. Once a decision is made, users can completely organize their own trip through VR booking in a gamified form. Virtual reality in the hospitality industry has also paved the way for more comfortable and faster service with the help of VR training for hotel staff. The combination of technology and hospitality has created a new dimension of travel planning where potential guests can virtually walk through hotel rooms, imagine their stay, and make informed decisions. Image: Freepik