New Quest app trains your memory in VR
Librarium for Meta Quest 2 promises more effective long-term learning. To achieve this, the learning app brings a traditional memory technique into VR.
Librarium for Meta Quest 2 combines modern VR technology with an ancient learning technique. As far back as the Roman and Greek schools of rhetoric, speakers associated key concepts from their text with different locations (loci method).
Like on a walk, they mentally wandered along a memorized route (route method), along which they encountered terms from the text one after the other. In this way, hard-to-remember words were transformed into a spatial, less abstract landscape that people could grasp much more intuitively.
Learning in VR with Librarium
Librarium, which has now been released by the development team of the same name, picks up on the memory technique and puts users spatially on a thinking route. In virtual reality, the memory palace exists as a visible construct instead of just in front of the inner eye. Users can literally grasp and manipulate objects such as an apple, a snow globe, or a ship's steering wheel to link ideas to them.
The VR app is primarily for test preparation and is aimed at school and university students and anyone else who wants to learn. It is also intended to be beneficial for language study.
According to the developers, the knowledge acquired with Librarium should remain in the memory longer than just until the next exam. The VR headset also blocks out distractions, which is supposed to be conducive to learning success.
In addition, the VR memory walk is supposed to be more motivating than cramming in front of a computer or a textbook because of its playful nature.
"I think a lot of the educational games are designed by educators, which is good for the content to be delivered, but not to get the audience excited about it," Duane Mathes, CEO of Librarium, told Venturebeat. He said the new technology opens up huge opportunities for the test-prep market, which is worth about $11 billion.
To substantiate possible learning successes, the producer refers to a study of the University of Maryland. In this study, users of a memory palace in VR showed a better long-term memory than test subjects in front of a similar scenario on the monitor: When spatially matching numbered faces, they were on average 8.8 percent more likely to remember the correct solution.
The store description even advertises a 33 percent higher "long-term memory retention". The studio arrives at this figure by adding (mathematically wrong) the 8.8 percent with the result of an earlier study in which VR did not yet play a role. In this study, users of a memory palace on the monitor showed an average of 25 percent better long-term memory performance than test subjects who were not allowed to use graphic support.
Educational offerings also for medical admission tests
Librarium's starter program includes more than 100 flashcards on topics such as environmental science, biology, philosophy, and sailing.
Another 35 "MCAT" decks (a common medical college admissions test in the U.S.) are being created in collaboration with Kaplan, a U.S. provider of educational programs and learning strategies. They are among the planned paid add-on content. A free companion app for iOS and Android will also allow users to create their own flashcards.
Librarium in the standard version is available for about 20 dollars in the official Meta Quest Store.