AR isn’t VIRTUAL reality – it isn’t a completely artificial environment
AR overlays the real world with digital information – like terminator vision!
That sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ve probably seen a lot more AR than you think – sports are particularly big users of this technology.
Where AR is really starting to take off is through mobile applications – the technology has existed for a long time, but we’re just now starting to all walk around with a device in our pockets that can render AR applications in real time. Most smartphones can be used as a lens to overlay digital information on your surroundings.
AR also has a lot of implications for learning – like google’s application that allows you to see the names of stars and constellations when you point it at the sky.
Here’s an anatomy application overlaying information about the skeletal system on a real person. AR can let you “see inside” systems.
AR applications can be used to simplify and improve repair on complex machines, as in this Marine application which labels engine parts and provides step-by-step instructions. They are also frequently used for training exercises.
Here’s a great AR app from France called CultureClic, which allows you to see culture institutions around you, and then get more information about the institution and it’s collections right within the app.
Many university libraries have taken advantage of AR to highlight their archival collections on campus with historic walking tours.
Now I’m going to tell you a bit more about a few popular AR platforms that you may have seen or heard about, some of which you can pretty easily utilize.
Believe it or not, the first AR app out of the gate for the iPhone was Yelp. The company never really announced or promoted this, but the application has a feature called “monocle” that uses AR to let you see what restaurants and businesses are around you.
Layar is probably the most popular AR platform for both iPhone and Android. It’s an open platform that allows you to build and discover various layers of AR content. This stems from a Nathan’s Hot Dogs finder to college and university applications, and it’s very popular worldwide.
This data is from Layar, so take it with a grain of salt
Here’s an example of a layer in the Layar catalog of an AR history overlay for San Antonio.
Here is Kansas State University’s campus app, which uses Layar. You can see the various settings and filters.
Wikitude began as a way to connect real-world locations with their wikipedia pages, although it’s now more open and other information can be put into wikitude “worlds” – which is what the call layers. Interestingly, wikitude is getting a lot of press lately for developing a driving application.
Layer and Wikitude are both already pretty easy to use, but a new service called Augmentation makes the whole process even easier. Augmentation provides a really simple interface to create your layers, and an API link to paste into an AR platform such as Layar or Wikitude. For the next 45 minutes or so, we’re going to play around with creating layers in Augmentation. One caveat – you still need to create an account with Layar or Wikitude to have your layer actually appear in the service.
I’ve put in these screen shots just in case we have any trouble doing this live.
What is AR?<br />It’s a technology that enhances your current perception of reality.<br />Augmented Reality:<br />combines real and virtual<br />is interactive in real time<br />is often registered in 3D<br />
OSU’s BeaverTracks<br />BeaverTracks is an interactive mobile guide and walking tour of Oregon State University's historical locations. <br />At each of the 22 locations, you get a brief history and can browse a catalog of historic images. <br />Depending on your mobile device you can also take a walking tour of the historic sites. <br />http://tour.library.oregonstate.edu/<br />
ARIS – U. Wisconsin<br />“STEEL is a simple game about mining and smelting metals. A number of virtual mines (copper, iron and carbon) are located all around downtown Madison, and players collect the metals for profit.”<br />http://arisgames.org/featured/steel/<br />
What do you need?<br />Smartphone requirements:<br />GPS: where am I?<br />Compass: what direction am I facing?<br />Camera: what do I see in the real world?<br />Accelerometer: how is my phone oriented?<br />Internet Connection: connect to the digital world<br />Optional: Gyroscope: for a smoother experience<br />