India: How immersive technology is making online classes livelier


Abdul Basit Saboowala (left) and a screen grab of a live remote holographic lecture. Supplied photo
Abdul Basit Saboowala (left) and a screen grab of a live remote holographic lecture. Supplied photo

Dubai - Physics professor and inventor Abdul Basit Saboowala shares his views on immersive technology and his inventions.

By Aftab H. Kola

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Published: Sat 24 Jul 2021, 10:22 AM

The pandemic has ushered in a digitally-driven education system, which has been advancing by leaps and bounds, making online classes livelier with life-like situations that are fun-filled and interactive. Making use of immersive technology that includes Holography, Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) in this digital learning model is expected to become a superior product though it is too early to say so.

The classroom/auditorium setup technology that converts an auditorium or classroom into a dream holographic learning experience centre is the brainchild of Abdul Basit Saboowala.

Abdul Basit Saboowala, a young physics professor, inventor and Forbes India Great CEOs Nominee, is also the creator of the ‘Virtual 3D Classroom Toolbox’, which converts an online or physical science class into a live interactive 3D classroom experience, giving an innovative edge to the school with the Power of 3D immersive teaching.

Khaleej Times caught up with Abdul Basit Saboowala, founder and CEO, Holo Shiksha powered by Holo Abdul, to understand his views on immersive technology and his inventions at Holo Shiksha powered by Holo Abdul, a multi award winning hi-tech venture.

Immersive technology has gained significant traction in the market over the years. How can this technology be put to better use in the educational sector in today’s pandemic-induced situation?

Owing to the pandemic, educational institutions are now running online, and hence there is a need for immersive technology in a digital medium which is accessible, affordable and convenient. Taking into account these challenges, we have created a digital version of the Holographic Classroom, which we have named Virtual 3D Classroom Toolbox, that is running online over a browser, easily integrating online lectures, and providing easy accessibility even in situations where internet connectivity is unstable.

What are the primary reasons for considering immersive technology to be the future of learning and education?

The role of immersive technology is to usher in the immersive experience that involves more than one of our senses (such as seeing, hearing, touching) which impact the way we perceive information. Studies have shown that immersive technology helps us in remembering any information or concept that we have learnt for a much longer duration than an audio-visual content.

We conducted a pilot research under supervision of industry experts, and successfully improved students’ grades by 24 per cent in 70 per cent less time. This is not only leading to a better classroom learning experience with better visualisation, memory retention and understanding of the concept, but is also saving teaching time by 70 per cent with better efficiency. Implementing such a technology will increase the value and excitement of classroom education, as well as enhance interactivity and engagement between teachers and students.

The new era necessitates recalibrating the education curricula to cater to new and emerging needs. How will Immersive Technology be able to do this?

What is most relevant would be to focus on building thinking skills of a high order. Immersive technology has the potential to fulfil this emerging need. Through our technologies, we are reinventing the immersive experience to make an impact on this need to promote STEM education and enhance better thinking skills.

Thanks to the immersive environment, the study materials that are available, and live lessons can help students actually practise the skills being imparted. Can you give a few examples?

Immersive technology is playing a crucial role in K-12 education and higher studies for conceptual learning and virtual experiences in sectors like science, astronomy, history, geography, healthcare and medical, engineering, construction, etc.

Using our Holographic Classroom & Virtual 3D Classroom technology invented at Holo Shiksha powered by Holo Abdul, we are blending 3D immersive teaching with STEM education to cater to students from pre-primary schools to higher education institutions.

Share with our readers the Holo Shiksha that you have developed, its features and outcomes. What is a Holographic Classroom and ‘Virtual 3D Classroom Toolbox’?

Holo Shiksha powered by Holo Abdul is a multi-award winning hi-tech venture with a vision to revolutionise classroom experience with the world’s first patent-protected Holographic Classroom and Virtual 3D Classroom Toolbox. Holographic Classroom is the world’s first patent-protected Holographic Hardware setup technology that can convert an AV room/classroom into a holographic experience centre.

Its features include real-time hand gesture interactive holographic experience; headset free holographic experience, and live remote holographic teleportation. It has no negative effects on health.

Virtual 3D Classroom Toolbox is our online immersive software which converts an online or physical science class into a Live Interactive 3D Classroom. Its features encompass Interactive & Immersive 3D content that is accessible through our web server, anywhere and anytime; curriculum-based content and modules libraries that ignite excitement, better learning and high attention span during lectures whether online or offline.

What is the cost factor involved in using this technology in educational institutions?

We have an institution-friendly, flexible-implementation model that helps to take care of tech setup/installation cost, and in return charge through licensing or subscription-based model. This makes it a convenient, affordable and easy-to-implement model for educational institutions.

Are there any negative effects in using this technology?

Headset-and-eyewear-based AR, VR & 3D Glasses can have multiple negative physical, psychological as well as physiological effects. But our Holographic Classroom has zero negative effect on health, and it is approved by authorized bodies, because to experience holography you don’t require a headset or an eyewear.

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