Nuat VR, a virtual reality gaming start-up company based in Dubai, is testing a pilot VR project with a school for remote learning as part of the coronavirus outbreak.
Started in 2016, the start-up was primarily building arcades in VR and has 12 games under its belt, including VR Mania, Cricket VR and Strike Zone.
Speaking to TechRadar Middle East, Fahad Bubshait, Founder and CEO of Nuat VR, said that they have been selling arcades to Magic Planet, Kidzania and to a lot of franchisees in the US.
“Two years ago, we decided to go beyond our legacy and started thinking of making an impact in the real world.
“I looked at my own family and I noticed that my kids are going to school and spending most of their time but what is the output, what are they gaining from schools and studies,” he said.
When he was doing research, he noticed that schooling is not as effective in a world where a lot of things is changing fast.
He said the knowledge they are getting from schools is not really going to help them in the real world.
“I decided to give education a shift and make it more engaging, more project-based and more problem-solving. We took subjects like mathematics, physics and chemistry and with our expertise in gaming, we built VR apps in physics and chemistry,” he said.
Nuat is testing the VR content with some students and with one school for grades between 4 and 6 in the UAE.
The advantage of VR, he said is that students can see what is causing an impact when they test and this is the way a human being needs to learn.
Learning from experience
“There is a limit they can only learn from a book and they need to learn from experiences. Students are so reliant on schools to learn but in real life, they should be learning from curiosity. Schools weren’t prepared for virtual learning. VR is important whether they are learning from school or outside the school,” Bubshait said.
Learning with all your senses in a VR world and from a safe environment, where you can mistake, he said the impact is going to be huge and it is the ‘future of learning’.
“VR was made for anything but I think it is best for education and not for gaming. VR is perfect for learning and there is no better medium to learn anything than VR, aside from the actual and real-life experiences,” he said.
Trying to replicate real-life in schools, he said is extremely difficult and costly and it is not saleable but doing it in a VR world is really saleable and doing it in a safe environment.
“In a chemistry lab, you don’t want to burn things and cause accidents but in VR, it is fine and safe and nobody is getting harmed. You can learn from your mistakes and try again,” he said.
Moreover, he said that intellectuals like Einstein and Newton spent most of the time with experiments, really thinking and imagining.
“Imagination is really difficult and not necessarily captured by a book. We try to create images in a virtual world where students can meet teachers and vice versa and do experiments. Our aim is to have all the subjects on VR but it will take more than two to three years,” he said.
Bubshait expects to create a complete stock of libraries in the next couple of years and is looking to raise some investments.
Creating compelling content
Bubshait has invested AED2m and raised around AED1m but plans to raise between AED5m and AED10m but ideally, looking to raise between AED1m and AED5m.
“We want to scale up by raising some funds and build some more content. We are trying to get a virtual teacher, as part of the platform, to interact with the students,” he said.
Even though Bubshait’s goal is to accelerate the demand for VR/AR by creating compelling content integrated with the right and sometimes upgraded hardware to create unparalleled immersive experiences, he is not going to let the focus on creating amusement games go down.
“Amusement games are what are paying our monthly bills,” he said.