Virtual reality, more than its cousin augmented reality, is often seen as an entertainment platform. Save for a few notable exceptions, most of the experiences available on VR platforms today revolve around games and multimedia. There are, of course, applications that take advantage of VR’s capability to take people places they’ve never been to before or see things they normally couldn’t. Lenovo is trying to build upon that with the VR Classroom 2 kit which ditches Google’s abandonware for its own ThinkReality platform.
To be clear, the second iteration of Lenovo’s educational VR system still runs on Android but that’s as far as the company is willing to officially divulge. But while the first incarnation was based on Lenovo’s Mirage Solo hardware which, in turn, was dependent on Google’s Daydream VR platform, Lenovo is taking matters into its own hands with the VR Classroom 2 independent of Google.
As before, the VR Classroom 2 is a standalone headset with a remote controller, not so different from the Mirage Solo. It is designed for a younger audience, though, ages 13 and above and is advertised to be usable even when wearing glasses. As far as hardware goes, though, it’s pretty much a mid-range standalone VR kit running on a Snapdragon 835 with a 2160×1920 display per eye, and a 4,200 mAh battery.
What sets it apart from something like an Oculus Go is, of course, the educational bent. More than just a headset, the whole package includes content, training for teachers, and a curriculum that touches on STEM, virtual tours, and even career explorations. While it may sound trivial, such experiences could actually help shape the expectations of future generations that will look for and develop such immersive technologies.
That does, however, mean that you won’t be able to buy this off the shelf, no matter how affordable the gear sounds. The Lenovo VR Classroom 2 is directly marketed at educational institutions that will probably want to buy these VR headsets in bulk.