Education Week: Virtual reality tours of Herod’s Temple in JSB

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Education Week attendees use 3-D virtual reality glasses to tour Herod’s temple. (LeAnn Hunt)

BYU Education Week participants can take a virtual reality tour of Herod’s temple in the Joseph Smith Building.

Participants don 3-D virtual reality glasses and step into a depiction of Herod’s second temple, a version of the temple that Christ would have seen, according to Tyler Quirante, 23, a senior from Katy, Texas who works the booth.

Participants use a handheld controller to teleport anywhere they want in the simulation. Throughout the virtual tour Quirante, who can see what participants are seeing on a computer screen, guides users. He instructs users to take full advantage of the 3-D experience and describes the significance of what the user is experiencing.

“Now, you’re inside the holy of holies,” said Jemi Ong, as she guided Sybil Ellis through the virtual temple. Ong, a junior in mechanical engineering, works in the virtual reality lab.

“My favorite thing was going behind the veil into the holy of holies,” said Ellis, a Spanish Fork resident who volunteers at education week every year. “It’s like going into the celestial room in the temple. And that’s how I felt.”

The exhibit is sponsored by the BYU Virtual Scriptures Group, a collaborative effort between the BYU Religion, Animation, and the Center for Teaching and Learning according to religion professor Tyler Griffin.

The exhibit is also an app, which is a collaborative effort between BYU and the church.

“We are the ones who release it and get it out to the public,“ Griffin said.

The Virtual New Testament app is available now on the app store, according to Quirante.

The virtual tour is available throughout Education Week in the foyer of the JSB.

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