A new collaboration between Pearson and Microsoft is using a self-contained holographic computer to develop “mixed reality” learning experiences for students.

The collaboration will explore how mixed reality can help solve real challenges in areas of learning, ranging from online tutoring and coaching, nursing education, and engineering to construction and surveyor training.

Microsoft says its HoloLens is the world’s first self-contained holographic computer. Pearson is developing and piloting mixed reality content at colleges, universities and secondary schools in the United States and around the world.

Video: Hololens

HoloLens leverages virtual reality and augmented reality to create a new reality – mixed reality. With virtual reality, the user is immersed in a simulated world. Augmented reality overlays digital information on top of the real world. Mixed reality merges the virtual and physical worlds to create a new reality whereby the two can coexist and interact.

By understanding the user’s environment, mixed reality enables holograms to look and sound like they are part of that world. This means learning content can be developed for HoloLens that provides students with real world experiences, allowing them to build proficiency, develop confidence, explore and learn.

(Next page: Four schools using mixed reality)