Page 25

EETE OCT 2015

autonomous avatars) to expand educational capabilities beyond existing academics to one tutor per student, offering specific support in practical laboratory activities. Virtual reality environments and augmented reality are certainly incredible tools, and although their specifications still need to mature, industry has already found many great applications. But isn’t it a risky bet to commoditize them through education? Sure, pupils may have better scores in Maths, Literature, Engineering and what else... but if this immersion scenario is to become mainstream through education, then one augmented lesson after next, pupils will spend their days into fake environments, connecting only with avatars rather than humans. Blend in all the “social” avatar networking that could be nurtured by internet giants, advertising companies and all the fantastic digital life scenarios put forward by content and game creators, there may not be much time left for real life, let alone a meaningful one. College connexions used to be the most durable and impervious to time, but those may now be lost for unrecognizable avatars. Walsh is well aware that digital addiction is lurking in this environment, where users are much more captive at a way deeper and exclusive attention level than with today’s already addictive mobile screens. So what about digital addiction by the millions? At the end of his keynote, Walsh mentioned addiction, citing the case back in 2010 of a Korean couple who had left their 3-month old baby starve to death as they cared for a virtual child in a computer game. “I have lost some friends to VR addiction”, testified Walsh, “they couldn’t go to sleep, they couldn’t stop to eat, and that was in the mid-nineties when the graphics and the immersive experience of video games was much less compelling” he recalled. He then called the research community for more studies on the effect of immersion on the brain and how it can impact the psychological state of frequent users. “Maybe in the future, virtual reality systems should integrate physiological sensors to detect addictive uses and issue warnings” he suggested. So yes, it would be time to look at the moral and ethical issues around VR before drowning young minds within untested digital territories. Although a boon for hardware and software makers, rushing VR into education would leave little choice to entire generations of future consumers, but that of being flooded with data wherever they look, pretty much the same way most of us feel compelled to stare at screens day in, day out, whether it be for work or leisure. Is this really enhanced life? Redefining Automated Test with open software and modular hardware How we interact with devices is changing. As the world becomes more software oriented, what we can accomplish increases exponentially. This shift should apply to our test equipment, too. Unlike traditional instruments with predefined functionality, the NI automated test platform provides the latest technologies to build complex systems while reducing development time and cost. >> Accelerate your productivity at ni.com/automated-test-platform Follow us on Search National Instruments or LabVIEW Austria 43 662 457990 0 n Belgium 32 (0) 2 757 0020 Czech Republic, Slovakia 420 224 235 774 n Denmark 45 45 76 26 00 Finland 358 (0) 9 725 72511 n France 33 (0) 8 20 20 0414 n Germany 49 89 7413130 Hungary 36 23 448 900 n Ireland 353 (0) 1867 4374 n Israel 972 3 6393737 Italy 39 02 41309277 n Netherlands 31 (0) 348 433 466 n Norway 47 (0) 66 90 76 60 Poland 48 22 328 90 10 n Portugal 351 210 311 210 n Russia 7 495 783 6851 Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia 386 3 425 42 00 Spain 34 (91) 640 0085 n Sweden 46 (0) 8 587 895 00 n Switzerland 41 56 2005151 UK 44 (0) 1635 517300 ©2015 National Instruments. All rights reserved. LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI and ni.com are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies. 14594 www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe October 2015 25 14594 Redefining Auto Test 91x277 Euro.indd 1 30/04/2015 10:03 A screen shot of GlowMaster, Playto’s first game yet to be released. (source Playto)


EETE OCT 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above