We decided to address the recent rise in fascination over volumetric content and its use cases by making it the topic of this week’s Studcademy Lesson. So let’s break down together what volumetric means and how its application makes learning infinitely better.
Volumetrics = volume + metrics?
If you assumed the word volumetric to have something to do with measuring volume, you’re not wrong. Each object occupies some amount of space and this is what we refer to as “volume.” But do a quick search of the term “volumetric” and you might be amazed at all the applications of volume measuring in our daily lives.
We measure volume when it comes to fog and clouds, diet and weight, lighting, displays, analyses, and even flasks! And to make it more confounding, all these applications mostly have nothing to do with each other except using the same technique. So what is the use case applied within Studyum?
The answer is volumetric video capture.
What is volumetric video capture?
Volumetric capture technology has been becoming more and more popular. Forbes wrote about it, Facebook had its sights on the technology since 2017, Microsoft already has five Mixed Reality Capture Studios distributed over the world, and Google’s volumetric-based Project Starline is going to significantly upgrade Google Meet calls. With so many companies dipping their proverbial toes into the applications of volumetric content, you just know this is something worth getting excited over.
So, what is volumetric video capture technology? It is a special kind of technology used to capture the volume of a person/object/space in real-time. It is a unique way of reproducing performances and motions. The movement is captured using cameras positioned all around the object so that it could be transferred from every angle and fully. That way, you can walk around the object or person in motion and not be limited by a single perspective.
Imagine the implications of unlimited perspectives! This is thrilling enough when we’re talking about the role of an observer unfettered by their position, but in terms of learning – it’s a completely new reality.
Information overload and how to deal with it
Using volumetric content to enhance learning is something that just makes sense.
With the internet, we gained instant access to a variety of data, but there is a lot of mental power that goes toward compartmentalizing, imagining, and connecting all that information. Because of this, we are unable to fully integrate the use of technology within our lives. We have all this power at our fingertips, but we are constantly on the brink of an information overload.
But don’t feel bad – not being able to handle many pieces of information at once is normal! In fact, leading psychologists, like George A. Miller and Daniel Kahneman, were fascinated by the limitations of working memories. Miller became famous by suggesting that the number of information we can hold in our heads hovers around seven. Kahneman’s research led to the development of the so-called capacity theory.
The idea is that we can only do so much at once. We can memorize a list of numbers. Usually, that ends up being up to nine numbers without some sort of memory technique. But try memorizing a list of numbers while also doing summation, or worse (division!). Suddenly, remembering nine numbers seems like wishful thinking. This is because one task that takes up working memory leaves less space for other similarly demanding tasks. That’s why you are using a dummy to practice CPR. That’s why you usually have an espresso machine in front of you while learning how to operate it. That’s why people use pictures in presentations and demonstrations.
We don’t read instruction manuals for fun because it would require:
- Imagining the device;
- Knowing the names of all the parts;
- Understanding how the device moves and operates;
- Reading and remembering what the instructions say.
It is much easier to follow manuals when you have the device in front of you and even more so when someone is demonstrating how to use it. But this would be ineffective on a large scale. Unless we were to use technology.
Learning in an Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality can help us overcome the limitations of our working memory. Looking at our reading manuals example, there are up to four demanding tasks that we have to juggle if we want to complete the task of operating a machine. However, consider this: When a device is in front of us, we don’t have to imagine it. We usually don’t have to remember all the names of all the parts to operate it and usually the way that a machine operates is designed to be intuitive, especially if the device is used in everyday life. So what we usually need to operate an espresso machine that we have just bought is reading comprehension and simple information retention.
Using volumetric content in Augmented Reality, you would be able to hold your phone over a device to see the instructions and changes in operation. This is just one of the applications of volumetric capture technology in learning. In Augmented Reality, there is even less demand placed on your working memory so there is more space left for an advanced task like learning. This means you will be able to learn faster, retain more information, and for longer periods.
Taking control of your learning time and space through Studyum
Before the pandemic started and we had to isolate ourselves from others for everyone’s safety, remote technologies were lacking in several important aspects. Online courses all had the same boring 2D format, no matter the subject. P.E. and sports in general were giving us a special kind of headache since the lockup. The teachers were uninspiring, just barely managing to transfer the content using remote technologies. Companies who were willing to put a considerable amount of resources into employee learning and development suddenly decided to prioritize something else.
Meanwhile, the remote, immersive, 5G, and blockchain technologies advanced. We collectively agreed that if technology is to become so closely intertwined with our everyday lives, we might as well use it efficiently. That is how Studyum came to be.
Volumetric content reinvents how we learn. It allows you to take agency over your learning process in ways previously deemed fantastical. Mastering a sport is now possible even without expensive specialists, coaches, and instructors monitoring you. Studyum is a sophisticated combination of advanced technologies that allows you to hone any skill from the comfort of your home. Each lesson is presented in an easy-to-digest format that ensures you’re not overwhelmed by the information. You are able to freely interact with the content, pausing, zooming in and out, and adjusting angles to make sure you get everything just right.
Through Studyum you control your learning – when it happens, where it happens, and how it happens.