It was a nice warm day in Prague, as we sat down to chat with Ondrej Homola, the CEO from Lifeliqe. Brimming with enthusiasm, he sat down to tell us about how he started in the Czech Republic, and through some government grants and programmes, found himself quickly emerged in the Silicon Valley engaging on a global scale to bring their learning platform to the world.
So what is Lifeliqe?
To put it simply, Lifeliqe is a learning platform, but not like anything you have seen before. There are over 1000 3D models of plants, animals, and even dinosaurs. In addition, they have created detailed 3D models of the anatomy of the heart and other aspects of the body and many other models for that matter.
So here I was thinking, I never liked being a student and yet I was so interested in watching the 3D model of the Stegosaurus during the interview that I almost forgot where I was. The 3D models are realistic and are interactive. You can zoom in and out as well as rotate around the model in every direction.
What quickly becomes apparent is that the platform really has two aspects: One for teachers and one for students. And more importantly, its a platform designed to stimulate a child’s mind while giving teachers a modern textbook to enable learning.
The platform is designed to enable educators and teachers to create their own curriculum using the various 3D models. They can use whatever models and information are already in the system to create their own text book story.
For students, the ability to interact with individual 3D models is rather exciting and fun. A 3D model is displayed alongside text so that you can also read and learn more as well. You can put your tablet into Augmented Reality mode and even watch the model overlaid with your real world.
So is Lifeliqe creating all of this content as well?
Lifeliqe is more of a collaboration platform for teachers and educators. In fact, anyone that is or wants to produce content can share their 3D content on the Lifeliqe platform. In essence, Ondrej refers to Lifeliqe as the “first interative 3D book” ever created. It can be used on a tablet and also uses Augmented Reality. Soon the content will also be published in Virtual Reality on the HTC Vive for a truly immersive and educational experience.
What is exciting according to Ondrej is that Lifeliqe is the “1st productivity tool for VR.” It is a professional tool that enables teachers to create content for lessons as well as exams and assessments to manage a full curriculum.
And where do you go from here and what is the vision?
Here is where the discussion got really interesting. Lifeliqe wants you to have the ability to do more than just look at one individual at a time. The real direction is to enable models to be connected together so that you can look at how models are related or belong together. Teachers can create content for courses, but equally people should be able to learn as they think driven by their own innate curiosity.
So here I was saying to him, “imagine looking at a bear and then wanting to learn about North American bears. And then you get curious about the Polar bears which brings you to the various animals that live in Spitsbergen Island in Norway. And then you find yourself reading about Puffins or Walruses.” He smiled. He could see I was excited by the prospects for my little boys at home.
What becomes evident is when Ondrej got excited talking as about the big picture and future. He spoke about the endless possibilities from revolutionising text books and education to how this could lead to revolutionising educational videos.
So at one point, I summarised this by saying to him “Lifeliqe bridges the gap between productivity and textbook with individual creativity and free thinking.” And his response, “yes exactly right, you understand exactly what we are doing.”
First off, if you haven’t already downloaded the Lifeliqe app, you should really have a look. It gives you a couple of examples of how the product works for both educators as well as students. And it really is fun to play around with.
So now I wondered, “would the VR version have a dinosaur running towards me?” We all laughed. It sounded a little bit silly but you never know what a teacher with a sense of humour might do!