Help Desk introduces virtual reality system

The Help Desk recently received a zSpace unit that combines 3D and virtual reality technology.

Connor Lawler


Ginny Lyons

The zSpace unit offers 3D features that allows students to interact with technology in different applications in order to fully enhance the learning environment.

Max Jensen, Staff Writer

The Help Desk recently gained access to a demo zSpace unit. zSpace is a California based company that develops technology, creating virtual reality computers that allow for a hands-on learning experience without the need for physical space and objects. zSpace is a combination of 3D technology and VR technology and uses a pen to interact with various applications in an immersive way.

zSpace blurs the line between simple 3D technology and advanced virtual reality headsets. The main benefit of this is that zSpace gets the best of both. By not being fully 3D, it won’t have the same problems that, for example, 3D televisions had. “I’m excited for where it’s going, I think VR has a lot better chance to succeed than 3D technology; we saw that with TV,” Technology Help Desk staff Mr. Bill Cheney said.

It’s simple enough that a student could pull it out of the case… plug it in and be ready to go in about a minute.

— Mr. Bill Cheney

zSpace, like other 3D technology, requires glasses to perceive the full 3D effect.“These [glasses] are actually pretty nice. These are just as light, or probably lighter, than [normal glasses],” Cheney said.

zSpace can also track the movement of the glasses. “If I look down I can see the floor on the screen if I look left and right I get a bit of an angle difference. You can see more things on the screen, which brings a lot to some of the applications,” Cheney said.

By not using full VR, the price of zSpace is kept to a more manageable level. The cost is about $3000, but that’s without considering the high cost of software. zSpace is also much more portable than full VR; it is easy to move, so the school wouldn’t have to buy multiple computers for every classroom. This would allow teachers to rent out the systems for certain sections of the semester. “The hook up is pretty easy… it’s simple enough that a student could pull it out of the case… plug it in and be ready to go in about a minute,” Cheney said.

zSpace, or similar technology, could allow classes to go places without leaving the classroom, experiment without spending as much time and money, being able to do things without needing the space, there are nearly endless possibilities for technology like zSpace. Both teachers and students alike have shown interest in VR technology. One or two teachers from each department have already checked it out.