I've previously thrown in my two cents on how virtual reality is a natural fit for eLearning. Back then (in 2010) I noted that we may not be able to carry out full virtual immersion (a la Avatar) just yet, but there was a lot we could do to incorporate virtual worlds into our training. Two years later we have already made quite the "leap" toward making full immersion that much more possible. A new technology just on the horizon will allow users to control their computers using gestures. It's called Leap Motion, and it will work on both Mac and Windows systems, finally doing for the computer world what Xbox Kinect has done for gaming systems. Leap Motion, however, claims to be "[about] 100x more accurate than any other motion sensing/natural user interface on Earth."
The goal with this new desktop technology is to revolutionize how we interact with our computers, much like the introduction of the mouse years ago. I see this being particularly useful in training people to do physical procedures (in the medical field, for example). It could also be great for a sign language course. Additionally, I think it could take eLearning games on desktop computers to the next level.
In the article linked above, I referenced a study by Stanford undergrads in which it was found that students showed an actual bodily change in their heartbeats and their brains while controlling their avatars, and they genuinely seemed to care about what their avatars did, even though the avatars existed entirely in a virtual world. Those avatars weren't even controlled by physical gestures. Perhaps the addition of the gesture control could strengthen that student-avatar bond. What are your thoughts? Do you think this technology could take virtual learning up a notch, or is this just another passing fad?
AJ teaches a live, 3-hour class that offers tips/tricks for improving the look and feel of your PowerPoint presentations: Slide Sprucing: Remodeling Lackluster PowerPoint Slides for eLearning and Presentations.