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Seeing the Library through the Terminator's Eyes: Augmented Reality
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Seeing the Library through the Terminator's Eyes: Augmented Reality


Augmented reality is a location-aware technology that can help libraries widen access to resources and promote services to users in exciting and innovative ways. This emerging technology superimposes …

Augmented reality is a location-aware technology that can help libraries widen access to resources and promote services to users in exciting and innovative ways. This emerging technology superimposes layers of computer-generated content such as 3d images, photos, and data over what you are looking at in real-time. This session will explain augmented reality and highlight potential uses and real world examples of how libraries are using this technology to promote, market, outreach, teach, and engage with users in new and exciting ways.

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  • AR isn’t VIRTUAL reality – it isn’t a completely artificial environment
  • AR overlays the real world with digital information – like terminator vision!
  • Arnold plays a cyborg sent from the future to kill a woman named Sarah Connor, who apparently plays a significant role in the future. He’s not successful, and 3 more movies (with another in production) and 2 seasons of a television show have been made about the story. I myself consider Terminator 2 to be the masterwork in the series, in which the original Terminator (Arnold) is now controlled by the good guys, and is sent back to a slightly later point in time to protect Sarah Connor’s son John from a more advanced model of Terminator, the T-1000.
  • Terminator 2 starts with a naked Arnold, fresh from the future, walking into a biker bar to obtain clothes and transportation. He uses his AR vision to find a match in terms of clothing size, as well as a suitably fast motorcycle.
  • Some AR projects require headgear
  • The use of of nearly ubiquitous devices such as cell phones may permit rapid experimentation and evolution of augmentedreality applications.
  • 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.
  • You can build directly in Layar or Wikitude without using an external service, but you need some programming skills, Layar requires JSON data that passes information about your POIs. If this isn’t in your skill set, then something like Augmentation, or even Google Earth, can help. 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 few minutes, 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.


  • 1. Seeing the Librarythrough the Terminator's Eyes: Augmented Reality
    Rachel Vacek, @vacekrae
    Anita Riley, @anitazavrrr
    University of Houston Libraries
    Amigos Member Conference
    May 18-19, 2011
  • 2. What is Augmented Reality?
  • 3. It’s a technology that enhances your current perception of reality.
    Augmented Reality:
    combines real and virtual
    is interactive in real time
    is often registered in 3D
  • 4. Not Virtual Reality
  • 5. Terminator Vision!
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9. How does AR work?
  • 10. Common Components
    A smartphone
    A video camera
    A projector
  • 11. AR Displays
    Head-attached displays
    Optical/Video HDM, Retinal, Lenses, Projector
    Handheld displays
    Glass trough, Tablet, Smartphone
    Spatial displays
    Desktop PC, Notebook, Holographic Projection
  • 12. Smartphone Requirements
    • GPS: Where am I?
    • 13. Compass: What direction am I facing?
    • 14. Camera: What do I see in the real world?
    • 15. Accelerometer: How is my phone oriented?
    • 16. Internet Connection: Connect to the digital world
    • 17. Optional: Gyroscope: For a smoother experience
  • Why is AR important?
  • 18. Encourages interaction
    Creates a richer experience
    Extends the context for understanding the real world
    Improve training materials
    Makes specialized content more accessible
  • 19. In the classroom…
    Brings experiential and location-based learning to people by supplementing existing worlds rather than creating new ones
    Students take an active role in their own learning
    Extends learning beyond libraries and classrooms to the places where people live
  • 20. Challenges of AR
  • 21. Challenges
    Slow to take off – many people don’t know what it is yet
    Have to create content or layer of info for each application
    Needs interoperability
    Requires built-in compass or GPS tools
    Displays – needing appropriate lighting
    Technology can be complicated
  • 22. Who is using AR?
  • 23. Everyone!
    Sporting events
    And even libraries!
  • 24. Potential AR applications
  • 25. Or social applications
  • 26. NCSU’sWolfWalk
  • 27. Miami University
    MU Augmented Reality Research Group
    ShelvARreads a special spine tag that corresponds to each book’s call number and automatically tells the user which books are out of place, and where they need to go.
  • 28. AR Services
  • 29. Services
    Yelp “Monocle”
  • 30. Yelp “Monocle”
  • 31. Layar
  • 32. Android Downloads
  • 33. Layar Layers
  • 34. Layar at Kansas State
  • 35. Wikitude World Browser
  • 36. Building an AR layer
  • 37. Your secret AR weapon
    Augmentation, by Hoppala
  • 38. Augmentation dashboard
  • 39. New overlay
  • 40. Add augment
  • 41. General tab
  • 42. Location tab
  • 43. Presto! Overlay!
  • 44. The Future of AR
  • 45. AR is here to stay
    Devices are getting smaller and more mobile
    Connection speeds are increasing
    Battery life is lasting longer
    More applications are moving to the cloud
    Desire to be more engaged
    Yearn for new visual experiences
  • 46. Resources
    Layar Tutorials
    Wikipedia Overview
    AR in Education
  • 47. Resources
    Layar introduction for developers
    GPS Motion X (iPhone app)
    $0.99 orfreelite version
  • 48. Thank you!
    Rachel Vacek
    Head of Web Services
    University of Houston Libraries
    Anita Riley
    Digital & Web Projects Fellow
    University of Houston Libraries