11 years old learned being an astronaut for free in Virtual Reality

Dwelan wearing a Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset
Dwelan wearing a Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset - Photo by Gabriëlla de Groot

Last month I met a boy. His name is Dwelan, and he is only 11 years old. He lives in Sri Lanka with his mother. His mother’s name is Ann, and she was an English teacher. Ann lost her job for Covid-19 Pandemic. After losing her job, they had financial problems. I met her on Facebook when I was searching for a nanny. Because of the loss of his mothers job Dwelan’s living standards are not high. I got to know him through an unexpected meeting. So I asked about his ideal future. My aim is to introduce him to virtual reality. A chance arose to help him on his way with his dream. This is due to the abundance of technology.

Dwelan’s education and dreams

Dwelan studies at a primary school in Sri Lanka. Cricket is his favorite sport, so he wants to be a cricketer. But the physical school has been closed for the last 1.5 years due to Corona. So he is not able to go to school and has also stopped playing sports. He couldn’t play cricket when the school was open. The sport coach selects the children based on the money they are giving. Instead of the quality and intrinsic motivation of the kids. Dwelan cannot afford to give the coach money to play cricket.

His real future dream is to be an astronaut. But is it realistic? Students have to spend millions of dollars to learn astronomy. Dwelan can’t afford a cricket coach. How can he afford to learn astronomy?

Abundance of education by virtual reality

A plan came to my mind. That course has to be done with millions of dollars. By sharing my VR device I can give him that course partly for free. Using an abundance of technology. I asked him if he knew about virtual reality. He told me he had already heard about virtual reality. But he didn’t use it. I shared my Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality headset with him. It was new to him. He was interested in using it and took the convenience. I taught him how to use VR Quest 2. Later he learned to control it on his own.

Oculus Quest is a virtual reality headset

Oculus is a brand of Facebook. You can see all the way up, down, right and left after setting the VR headset . You can pick up a virtual object in the device with the controller. But it will not get the feeling of it in your hand. This can be a little awkward. But once you get used to it, you will enjoy the whole thing. You will see every action of your hand on the device.

Learned to be an astronaut with VR

Dwelan wants to be an astronaut, so he has to learn astronomy. Need to know about the World Space Station. So I installed the Mission ISS app on my VR Oculus Quest headset. It is available for free. This app is an Emmy-nominated simulation. That allows you to travel in orbit virtually. And live on the World Space Station. Walking in space with VR is realistic. Videos and pictures of real NASA astronauts can be seen from VR. Which are very informative and give accurate guidelines to the user.

Dwelan is very happy to be able to use the VR headset. He is enjoying the VR world too much. He can feel the space and feels like an astronaut. His dream has come true even though a little through virtual reality. He has been able to gather a lot of information. And learn a lot by all the instructions and simulations.

Maybe Dwelan will get a chance to study astronomy in the future. Then his experience in virtual reality will help him a lot. Over time people will be more interested in going into space. And it will be a common thing. Elon Musk is highly confident. The founder of aerospace transportation services company SpaceX. Elon said SpaceX will land humans on Mars by 2026.

The flow of technology

Technology is evolving day by day. And it’s becoming more readily available than ever before. With computers, we have become acquainted with modern technology. However, it is somehow limited. We are moving many more steps forward with a new discovery. That is virtual reality. With 3D printing, 360 degree angles VR can be used as a reality.

Nowadays VR is contributing to various fields. Like education, sports, and travel. In the near future VR will have new sensors. By this we may get many new features in VR that will change our lives. The price of VR is also declining day by day. It is moving within the purchasing ability of the public. VR’s 2016 release price was around $2400 for the Rift and the computer hardware. Now by a standalone headset it has come down to $299.00 in 2021. It is likely to be cheaper in the future.

Outdoor games with VR

Outdoor games are almost closed due to Pandemic. Sitting at home, people are getting anxious day by day. Times are getting worse. Especially for those who used to play cricket regularly. So developer Mixeal has released a new cricket game. Called The Final Overs. Sadly this one is not free to download. However, it might be with its one time fee more affordable than schools sport coaches.

The final overs will be played by anyone. Without experience. VR Quest will provide a basic experience to the newcomers. And make the game more enjoyable for them. Many people dream of playing on the world field. They can happily play on a foreign field if they have a VR Quest headset. The Final Overs game has been compared to real cricket. It is a beta, so the game may not be fully enjoyable yet.

Another benefit of playing this game, it will maintain your fitness. Controller allows you to swing your arms and legs like a real person.
Due to the pandemic, the fields have become joyless and crowded. The final overs is nothing more than a pleasure to sit at home and enjoy.

This is a great hope for Dwelan to experience and enjoy the game of cricket. He doesn’t have to pay any coach. He will be able to joyfully spend his pandemic time joyfully with VR.