Singapore announces a host of VR initiatives
Singapore announced a host of virtual reality initiatives as part of building blocks for a digital economy.
In an opening address at the Infocom Media Business Exchange, minister of communication and information, Yaacob Ibrahim announced the pilot project of VR in primary schools, as well as use in clinical training.
Singapore regulator, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will be working with production company Beach House Pictures to pilot the use of VR in social studies in five primary schools.
“Through the pilot lessons, about 400 students in primary four and primary five learnt about the design and architectural features of buildings as well as characteristics of high-tech farming,” said Yaacob.
“In this pilot, Beach House Pictures worked with MOE (Ministry of Education) to develop exciting VR content closely aligned to the social studies curriculum. Beach House Pictures has also collaborated with local start-up Hiverlab to develop a customised VR classroom application for teachers to guide students on VR experiences to different locations around Singapore,” he added.
The VR experience allowed students to explore landmarks such as the Central Sikh Temple, Chinese Garden and Geylang Serai Market without leaving the classroom. Students were also able to explore the farmers’ use of high-tech machines and creative cultivation methods in an offshore fish farm, organic vegetable farm, egg farm and a dairy farm.
IMDA and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) will be collaborating with SideFX Studios to use VR and mixed reality to enhance clinical training.
“Traditional clinical training is resource intensive and costly, and might not be able to replicated scenarios realistically. This collaboration will develop immersive simulations for basic surgical skills and complex airway management, which is critical in life-threatening emergencies,” said Yaacob.
TTSH consultant specialists from emergency medicine and surgery will provide healthcare domain knowledge to guide and test the development of the immersive tech simulations. VR will be used to complement traditional clinical training methods due to limitations in fully replicating factors such as tactile responses, patient and dynamic environmental changes.