AustAR Labs brings AR to education in Australia

Augmented Reality – sounds like a movie title?

Right? Not quite. Let’s unpack some of the facts about AR.

AR along with wearable technology was rated significantly among the technologies on the Horizon Report 2013 as most likely to be implemented in education within four to five years.

Here at AustAR Labs, we consult to schools and businesses who are interested in understanding of the advantages, applications and strategic deployment of AR for their purposes.

Understanding AR

AR is a fast developing, technologically facilitated, point-of-access to important information in real-time, which provides an innovative approach to enhancing users’ experiences with real world objects.

Various technologies are used in AR rendering including optical projection systems, monitors, hand held devices, and display systems worn on one’s person.

But what can it really mean for the user?

According to Wikipedia:

AR is a live, copy, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data … the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality.

With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable.

AR digital manipulation of  information occurs in a variety of forms such as text, graphics, video, audio as a virtual enhancement for real-world objects, locations and associated information management sources.

AR builds upon existing information systems including the Internet to enhance user response times, decision making processes and engagement with work duties.

Take a look at this short explanatory YouTube video Augmented Reality: What is augmented reality?

Or view this one for a full TEDx TALK on Augmented Reality – the 8th Mass Medium.

Implementing AR apps

The most common use of AR can be seen through mobile apps. And there is a growing batch of these available from your Mobile App Store. Popular apps such as Aurasma, Fetch and Layar are now being implemented in educational and commercial settings.

Basically you point your device’s camera at something that the app recognises, and it will generate a 3D animation or video superimposed over whatever is on your camera’s screen. The effect makes the computer-generated item appear like it’s really there.

Perhaps you’ve already seen this television advertisement for IKEA that enables you to Place IKEA furniture in your home with augmented reality.

Currently the use of AR in an enterprise context across government and non-government includes strategic defence, business process and logistics control.

AR can be integrated across a wide variety of employee roles particularly useful where simulation, training and skills development are required. Of particular interest is rapid take-up of mobile wearable technologies that complement or build upon information systems supporting augmented reality such as Google Glass.

AR is of interest in an enterprise and industrial context given the ability to connect a user or wearer with information to enhance:

  • Instruction – character (OCR), image, object or location recognition combined with other triggers such as RFID or Beacon that prompt the system to provide the user with instructions to undertake tasks or provide alerts to the user about that object or location
  • Operations – hands-free information transmission while an operator is otherwise occupied undertaking tasks requiring hands on operations
  • Engagement – provision of a range of feedback to the AR user enhancing that person’s engagement with a task such as a reward, result or other feedback
  • Enjoyment – an AR user will often report that they are better engaged with a process if information that is specific and useful is presented to them for consideration.
  • How can AR benefit your business?

    AR is of most benefit to an innovative organisation that is seeking:

    • a new method of communicating and engaging with its customers
    • cut-through with its promotional campaigns
    • a new channel to reach new customers
    • ways to differentiate itself from the competition
    • ways to put real-time information in the hands of its customers
    • to change brand perception by wowing its customers through the use of this remarkable new technology.
    • How can AR benefit education?

      Take a look at the work that AustAR Labs are undertaking with the Jackson School in developing lessons using AR and Microsoft Kinect.

      AR apps are also gaining in popularity among innovative school programs. This YouTube video is from the Shaw Wood Primary School in the UK, who is using the Aurasma App for AR in education.

      Please contact us today if you would like more information about the advantages, applications and strategic deployment of AR for your organisation.

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