What if I don’t have VR goggles for my VR eLearning module?
When we were preparing the logistics to develop the Virtual Reality eLearning module for ACCES Employment, this question came up when we were explaining how the output of this project would look like, and it is a fair question, how would people complete the training if they don’t have VR goggles, such as Google Cardboard? What options do they have?
Well, I believe this question goes beyond the necessity of having the proper hardware for the VR module, and even touches the topic of accessibility: is virtual reality, really accessible?
To circumvent the issue of not having the VR goggles, or probably even having an older phone that is not fully compatible with the module, you can always use a computer.
The beauty of VR for web, whether it is produced using an authoring tool (like in this case) or a custom library, is that it needs 360 interactions to then extend it to virtual reality. What this means is that the base of a VR module is a 360 interaction, that can be interacted with using a desktop or laptop computer and a mouse. This is true for all the tools, and being a bit more technical, VR is just an enhanced projection of a 360 interaction that is presented as a split screen with slightly different perspectives, so that human stereoscopic vision kicks in when using the VR goggles.
Now, as far as accessibility goes, even though there are some issues as stated in https://www.w3.org/WAI/APA/task-forces/research-questions/wiki/Accessibility_of_Virtual_Reality, we can fix those issues to provide accessible versions of VR modules by enabling the module to receive different kinds of inputs, not just movements, as it might not be possible for all people to perform the required movements to complete the VR eLearning module.