Imagine an encyclopedia where you can experience history and science through a fully immersive 3D simulation. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on January 31, 2014.
About this project
The HoloLibrary is a free library of 3D simulations, recreations, and virtual field trips.
We are pioneering the use of virtual reality gaming in education by making immersive 3D scenarios in history and science for students, educators, parents or anyone to use.
Help us build the first 5 educational virtual reality simulations, and we’ll get thousands of them into every classroom in America… and the world.
A host of recent improvements in display technology are making virtual reality headsets better and more affordable than ever. We’ve already seen the gaming community’s outpouring of support for new VR headsets like the Oculus Rift; our goal is to bring this technology to the classroom by developing 5 immersive 3D scenarios in popular topics.
- A day in the life of a bee
- Journey through the cardiovascular system
- First flight to the Moon with Neil Armstrong
- The inside of a tornado
- And one more to be determined by contributors...
We’ll use funding and contributions to produce these first 5 simulations in house and make them compatible with the Oculus Rift. We’ll need to acquire server space to run our operation, some animating equipment, and we’ll hire some apprentice 3D modelers to power through some of the time consuming 3D renderings. We’re working with top academic experts in each field who will advise and monitor the simulations throughout development to be sure they are immaculate in detail, faithful to the historical record, and of encyclopedic quality. After the 5 simulations are completed, we’ll get them loaded into the HoloLibrary where anyone can download and “play” them for free, with or without a VR headset. We’ll be showing teachers and educators how to use the HoloLibrary, and we’ll travel around the world talking to businesses and organizations about getting involved and sponsoring new educational series for the HoloLibrary.
In developing these 5 simulations, our mission is threefold: to make the case for virtual reality as a new tool for education, to show teachers and educators how to use this technology to transcend the walls of the classroom, and to deliver free experiential learning opportunities to students across the globe. The HoloLibrary will be free to anyone under a GNU General Public License.
The Kickstarter Campaign
Our campaign starts with an international tour. We will begin in Hong Kong, where we will be exhibiting an early product Demo to local educators. Next, it is back to the United States to meet with administrators from several top universities. At the end of the campaign we will be in latin America, demonstrating our Tour of the Cardiovascular System to professors in Costa Rica. During the course of the next 30 days, we will be updating you with videos, interviews, and product demos. We will be collecting feedback and volunteers, sharing our experiences, and offering unique insight into the challenges we face.
What comes next?
HoloLibrary isn’t just a digital 3D simulated encyclopedia, we’re cultivating an entire network of designers, animators, 3D programmers, and topic experts who are passionate seeing VR change education.
If our model is proven successful, we’ll stick with our open-source philosophy and call upon the community of 3D developers, graphic artists, sound engineers and academic experts worldwide to participate as we add more and more titles to the HoloLibrary. We’ll partner with museums, historical societies, businesses, and individuals passionate about this project. We’ll create financial incentives for developers, modelers, and sound effect artists. They will be paired with educators and experts who will advise on the simulations. Our job will be to develop content internally, and organize the remote collaboration of various teams of animators, artists, and experts via our developer’s site, dev.hololibrary.com, which will break down all the work needed toward completion on each series. The possibilities are endless, any subject, any time period...
Experience history from a first person perspective – take a walking tour of your favorite ancient city Explore human physiology at the micro level – travel through the human body as a red blood cell Download a fully immersive 3D simulation of a topic your teacher or the textbook presented poorly Re-create dangerous experiments or study psychological phenomena in a controlled environment
By cultivating an entire network of 3D developers, artists, educators, and visionaries, we’re also giving that gift back to the internet - a brand new kind of matrix of thinkers and creators that is quite literally at humanity’s disposal.
Why are we doing this and who are we?
Growing up digital, we couldn’t envision a possible future where virtual 3D headsets weren’t part of every classroom and computer lab. A whole new generation of lightweight and inexpensive VR headsets like the ‘Oculus Rift’ are hitting the market and HoloLibrary’s mission is to develop and fund educational and experiential 3D simulations of all kinds – from biology and geology to history and the social sciences – to work on these systems. Our goal is to provide students and educators worldwide with an unprecedented bank of virtual models and environments in the latest immersive 3D technology that lets people explore the sights and sounds of history or science up-close and in first person.
Demo of the Cardiovascular System
We will keep you to date on the development of our first simulation. We plan to release an early Demo during this campaign. Below is a screen capture of some of our models.
Risks and challenges
The HoloLibrary’s biggest challenge is mobilizing a decentralized network of educators, animators, and game developers to remotely collaborate on educational content. The ways we plan to use virtual reality in education are unprecedented, and no less than global in scope. That’s why we’re involving people from around the world at the outset. We’re in dialogue with teachers and educators around the world. We’re talking to everyone with whom we’ve worked on remote collaborative projects in the past - whether in film, music, or design - and asking them to really think about remote projects and what makes them successful and what doesn’t. We’re taking a pragmatic approach to team building by going out and letting people “try on” the HoloLibrary so they can see through their own eyes how it will completely transform the future of education. We’re creating a totally positive cause for 3D modelers, academics, game developers, teachers - groups that previously never had a reason to work together - to collaborate on projects they are all simultaneously passionate about.
Wikipedia has shown us that crowdsourcing knowledge works, so we’re taking experiential education to the next level based on the Wikipedia approach - making high quality information free, plentiful, peer reviewed, and open to anyone to contribute. The only difference is we’re bringing 3D animators and virtual reality designers into the mix. To that end the HoloLibrary is also a multimedia challenge, and an organizational challenge for us as facilitators of all the different types of media files collaborators will be uploading. We’ll be using our developer’s website, dev.hololibrary.com, to manage all the “pieces” of the projects being split up and maintain a comprehensive messaging and calendar system.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
How do both of you plan on creating a true HoloLibrary experience (as in creating a vast library selection of 3D educational simulations) in the near future?
While producing the first 5 simulations we're going to film the experience and develop a special collection of guides and tutorials specifically for history and science projects.
Next, we're going to use that material to train a group of educators: including historians, professors, historic societies, and scientists. (We're meeting with many of them all month around the world) They'll have control over a specific fund and have the ability to submit work tickets through our developer sites with specific financial rewards. Volunteer animators, modelers, and other artists will be able to complete those tickets and receive the payment.
For example: an expert in Egyptology is managing a project on the creation of the pyramids. Our job is to raise the funds and trains this person in our system. He can submit a job ticket for a model of a specific tomb. The ticket includes photos of the actual tombs, and sketches or other information which might be necessary. He attaches the value of $250 to the ticket. This process is repeated until all assets required are collected and animated. We make any final touches and release the project.
Though this will certainly be a lot of work at first, we hope to scale this process to eventually include something as comprehensive as a genuinely complete encyclopedia of history.
Concurrently, we also want to design a series of user friendly tools to help teachers edit, mix and narrate our 3D simulations for their virtual reality classes. We want to create the guides and training they'd need as well.
The next thing I would like to develop is a class editor for teachers. It would allow them to mix, cut, and narrate over the holographic simulations. As it stands, being able to compile what are essentially clips into a virtual class room would allow educators to use material to discuss specific content. For example, our simulation titled "A Day in the Life of a Bumblebee" could be used by one educator to discuss pollination and another to talk about the physiology of the bee, while another still could be discussing the aerodynamics of insect flight.
There is no planned content in mathematics. I am extremely open to ideas, but at the moment we don't have any particularly compelling ways to introduce math. The best chance would be an applied math course, or using basic 3D objects to explain geometry. Another potential way to develop mathematic content is by filming a math class in 3D. Imagine, basically, the google maps camera parked in the middle of a classroom, recording the teacher's lesson.
Supposing this project either succeeds or fails, would there be any way for a person, school/university, or business to back this endeavor?
Absolutely. We've already acquired $20,000 in private donations.
If the project fails, will you start another Kickstarter, or look toward alternative means of funding?
If the project fails, we will thoroughly examine why, make the corrections, and relaunch. This project is an inevitability.
That is a really interesting and cool idea! I love it. Perhaps if you know any survival experts who have any specific ideas, please get them to share it with us. Personally, I am not that good at surviving anywhere without WiFi.
What will be done to ensure that the information contributed to the Hololibrary is clean and all-ages appropriate, or at least contains a notice if there's anything graphical that might be inappropriate for younger viewers?
Unfortunely history is not rated G. That being said, my own personal motivate and aesthetics will focus on the less violent aspects of history. Inevitably, the interest surrounding war will prompt us to develop simulated battles, historic assassinations, or perhaps even genocide. These will be clearly labeled. Before launch you'll have a good idea about what you're getting into, the site will contain images, videos, comments, descriptions and more.
What will be done to ensure that the information contributed to the Hololibrary is and remains true, and free from censorship, bias and agendas (be they political, corporate, or religious in origin) , and trolls who distort information for their own amuse
This is a delicate subject, and gets more delicate as the content becomes more modern and more relevant. There are two basic controls: accountability and modification.
First, the project expert, the volunteer animators, and any other contributor will be published. If an organization is responsible for donating to a final project, they do not own it and can not rewrite history. Our content will focus on the most commonly agreed upon version of history, when and where that is applicable. Science, thankfully, is far less controversial.
Additionally, the files are free to download and manipulate. What this creates is a system where people with an alternative history can take the project and alter the contents to conform to another interpretation. Assuming that other history isn't offensive, or indefensible scientifically, we will share a link to that project on our project's main page.
- (30 days)