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2010 Short List Augmented Reality
2010 ANZ Short List
2010 ANZ Horizon Report Short List
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
Visual Data Analysis
2010 Final Topic:
Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years
The concept of blending (augmenting) data — information, rich media, and even live action — with what we see in the real world is a powerful one. Augmented reality aims to do just that as a means to enhance the information we can perceive with our senses. The first applications of augmented reality appeared in the late 1960s and 1970s, and by the 1990s, augmented reality was being put to use by a number of major companies for visualization, training, and other purposes. Now, the technologies that make augmented reality possible are powerful and compact enough to deliver augmented reality experiences to personal computers — and even mobile devices. Wireless applications are increasingly driving this technology into the mobile space where they offer a great deal of promise.
The camera and screen embedded in smart phones and other mobile devices now serve as the means to combine real world data with virtual data; using GPS capability, image recognition, and a compass, augmented reality applications can pinpoint where the mobile’s camera is pointing and overlay relevant information at appropriate points on the screen. Augmented reality applications can either be marker-based, using a specific visual cue to call up the correct information — or markerless. Markerless applications typically rely on positional data, such as a mobile’s GPS and compass but new versions appearing in the game sector rely more on image recognition.
Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Enquiry
Augmented reality opens the door to visual and highly interactive forms of learning, allowing the overlay of data over the real world as easily as it simulates dynamic processes.
AR has significant potential for laboratory-based learning and assessment, where students can explore the virtual counterparts of objects that are too physically remote, dangerous, or expensive to use in teaching.
Students visiting historic sites can access AR applications that overlay maps and information about how the location looked at different points of history.
Augmented Reality in Practice
ARIS is an alternate reality gaming engine created by the University of Wisconsin’s Games, Learning and Society research group. Virtual objects and characters are placed at certain locations in the physical world and players interact with them using their mobile devices:
With the Wikitude World Browser, users can view their surroundings through the camera on a mobile device, seeing historical information, nearby landmarks, and points of interest:
This video demonstrates an AR game played with a table board and a mobile device, created at Georgia Tech Augmented Environments Lab and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta:
For Further Reading
If You’re Not Seeing Data, You’re Not Seeing
Wired Gadget Lab
, 25 August 2009.) This Wired article gives a good overview of augmented reality, including where it currently is situated and what to expect in the future.
Visual Time Machine Offers Tourists a Glimpse of the Past
, 17 August 2009.) New apps for smart phones offer augmented reality on the go. While on location, users view historical sites as they were hundreds of years ago.
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