The library has recently acquired a VR setup, thanks to AMD. They’re being judicious with scheduling time on it at the moment, so you have to pay close attention for when you have an opportunity to try it out. (STEM Central was one such opportunity.) We got a great letter from one patron who was lucky enough to experience it. She writes:
Imagine traveling inside your own blood – through your platelets, white blood cells and other tiny – nay infentesimal – parts of your insides immediately after having taken a trip to the bottom of the sea. Following these by flying with Buzz Aldrich into space.
OK, so you think I’ve lost my mind and are living in a fantasy world. Not so! I had the most awesome experience with virtual reality all while sitting in a chair that rolled and swiveled at the Homestead Ave. Branch of the Santa Clara Library.
It was the most incredible two plus hours I’ve spent in a very long time. Had the wonderful IT staff at the Library not had other commitments, I might have stayed for hours longer.
First I went to the bottom of the sea. The colors were spectacular. I could see fish and anemones and other sea creatures moving around me just as though I were physically there with them. I love color! Thus for me, this was the best of the three events I experienced. Going inside my own body, I could clearly see the benefits to all biology students to be able to experience so clearly what they are learning abstractly. WOW!
Finally, as my rocket ship took off, I looked to my right and was sitting in the cockpit (I think it’s called a cockpit) next to two very handsome astronauts. Lucky for me and for them – I didn’t have to handle the controls because when I tried I steered us off course. My fellow pilots took over and got us safely into space.
The three experiences were quite different. Each was spectacular in its own way. Each made me feel as though I were actually there – actually in the experience, not merely observing it.
There are more – and I will be back at another time to experience these other adventures as well.
I highly recommend visiting the Virtual Reality section of the library and having one or more experiences yourselves. First though, be sure to make an appointment.
Do keep an eye out for when you can give it a try!