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Augmented Reality’s First Educational Applications


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Slides for "Augmented Reality’s First Educational Applications" videoconference session, …

Slides for "Augmented Reality’s First Educational Applications" videoconference session,

"What is augmented reality (AR), and how can it be used on the liberal arts campus? In this session, this recently evolving technology for layering digital content over the physical world will be explained, and a variety of examples and platforms, from the iPhone to Android, will be shared. Participants will be guided through a survey of possible liberal arts uses, ranging from campus information to urban studies to new media.

This interactive discussion is the third in this spring’s “Special Topics in Emerging Technologies” series. The series will focus on three technologies identified in The Horizon Report (2010 edition) as likely to be adopted in the next one to three years. Bryan Alexander, NITLE’s director of research, chaired the advisory board for this year’s Horizon Report, which is published annually by the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). This year’s report describes six areas of emerging technology that will have significant impact on higher education in the next five years. "

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  • 1. Augmented reality: an early 2010 survey
    Bryan Alexander
    National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education
  • 2. Plan for the day
    What is it?
    History and state of the art
    Why do this?
    Current examples
    AR on campus
    Current examples
    Trends and possibles for 2010-2011
  • 3. What is AR?
    Not VR
    J. Spohrer, WorldBoard “Information in places” (IBM Systems Journal, 1999)
    Language grapples:
    Magic window
    Mixed reality
    Reading the environment
    Annotate the world
    Laminating the physical world
    a “looking glass” into an invisible world
  • 4. Components
    Mobile device (e.g., phone)
    Display screen (glasses, phone)
    Network infrastructure
    Location awareness (GPS)
    Attitude awareness (accelerometer)
    Local apps
    Web services
    Content server
  • 5. Light AR
    Museum tours
    GPS navigators (Garmin)
    Location services (Yelp)
    Photo from Jimmy Joe
  • 6. Marker-based AR
    Living antecedent: bar codes
    Microsoft Tag
  • 7. Marker-based AR
    Another antecedent: CueCat
    Google Googles
  • 8. Deeper AR
    Superimpose digital data onto local imagery
    Glasses or phone
  • 9. Why use it?
    Add information to a place
    (Wimbledon example)
  • 10. Rotterdam Market Hall
  • 11. Mondrian;
    Creative arts
  • 12. Wikitude
    User geotagging
    “World Browser”
  • 13. .edu examples: iTacitus
    European Commission research project
    Palazzo Diana,
  • 14. Campus uses
    “’RealtàAumentata’… a thesis project by a student at the Valle Giulia Faculty of Architecture in Italy.” (HR 2010)
  • 15. Campus uses
    “Gratz University of Technology,
    Austria, has developed campus and museum
    tours using augmented reality. Looking through
    the camera on a mobile phone while walking
    the campus, students see tagged classrooms
    inside the buildings. At the museum, a virtual
    tour guide accompanies users through the halls.” (HR 2010)
  • 16. Campus uses
    Campus life through AR:
    Georgia Tech
  • 17. Campus uses
    “The ARIS engine allows game designers to place virtual items, characters and pages in physical space using the iPhone’s GPS or a little barcode that can be placed on a wall or near an object. By giving the players a story and a number of quests, games can be built that involve a mix of physical and virtual activities.”
    (U Wisconsin,
  • 18. AR projects
    From the liberal arts world:
    Dickinson in Japan,
    • Stetson campus app,
  • Emergent trends and possibles
    TAT face recognition
  • 19. Emergent trends and possibles
    Hardware beyond the mobile phone
    Contact lenses (ex: (BabakParviz, IEEE Spectrum)
  • 20. Emergent trends and possibles
    AR skies
    Google Skymaps (
    Bing sky (TED)
  • 21. Emergent trends and possibles
    “Games using marker technology often include a flat game board or map which becomes a 3D setting when viewed with a mobile device or a webcam. This kind of game could easily be applied to a range of disciplines, including archaeology, history, anthropology, or geography, to name a few…” (HR 2010)
  • 22. Emergent trends and possibles
    “…Another approach to AR gaming allows players or game masters to create virtual people and objects, tying them to a specific location in the real world.
    Players interact with these constructs, which appear when the player approaches a linked location in the real world.” (HR 2010)
    (Mad City Mystery,
  • 23. Emergent trends and possibles
    Practical challenges
    Huge amounts of data crunching
    Interface awkwardness
    Location-based advertising
    Copyright and other IP
    Social media content contribution
  • 24. Emergent trends and possibles
    “[L]et’s get cynical about this technology and it’s trajectory. This “true glimpse” of history won’t sell well, compared to Disneyfied “untrue glimpses.” Wherever there is “Intelligent Tourism,” brutal, vulgar and stupid tourism follows fast on its heels!...” Bruce Sterling, 2009
  • 25. Emergent trends and possible
    “Soon we’ll have some themepark Creationist Augmented Reality, where you can visit the Grand Canyon and see pre-Noachian people pan-frying trilobites and riding dinosaurs.)))” Bruce Sterling, 2009
  • 26. More resources
    ELI, 7 Things You Need to Know About Augmented Reality,
    Eric Klopfer, Augmented Learning (MIT, 2008)
    J.D. Spohrer, “Information in Places” (1999)
    Adam Greenfeld, Everyware(New Riders, 2006)
  • 27. Companies to watch
    Microsoft (Tag:
    ARSights (
    Also IBM, Google
  • 28. Even more resources
    NITLE blog, Techne
    Horizon Report
    Bryan’s research Twitter