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The Use of Haptic Display Technology in Education

Author(s): Woodrow Barfield

Journal: Themes in Science and Technology Education
ISSN 1791-3721

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1-2;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2009;
Original page

The experience of "virtual reality" can consist of head-tracked and stereoscopic virtual worlds,spatialized sound, haptic feedback, and to a lesser extent olfactory cues. Although virtual realitysystems have been proposed for numerous applications, the field of education is one particularapplication that seems well-suited for virtual reality technology. Recently, in the field ofeducation, virtual reality systems equipped with haptic devices, have been used to assist in thelearning process. The main benefit of haptic technology for education is that it increases therealism of simulations by providing force or tactile feedback to the user. Such feedback can beused to model the atomic orbits of electrons, feel of tissue of the abdomen during a laparoscopictraining exercise, or visualize and interact with nanoscale materials. This article discussesthe basics of the haptic sense, discusses a few common haptic devices, and concludeswith current applications of haptics in education.
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