Getting Started with Augmented Reality

Sarah Phillips attended the Informa conference last year, including a specific workshop on Augmented Reality (AR).

If you haven’t played around with some AR yet, now is the time to get started. It has been the topic of a couple of Emerging Technology Trials in 2010 and 2012.

A good app to try is Aurasma Lite which is free for iPad and Android. What you can do is create an image (or layer) to overlay onto a familiar object. Sarah demonstrated this to her colleagues here at eWorks with her business card, which she overlaid with a portrait photo of herself when pointing the device’s webcam at the card:

eWorks business card belonging to Sarah Philips, showing a picture of her on the right side

Sarah’s augmented business card

The clever part about this is that your layer gets stored in the cloud and you are provided with a link for sharing your layer with others. If you’re interested, you can find instructions on how to create your own AR layer with Aurasma.

Here is a list of other AR apps Sarah found to play with:


Augmented Reality Apps

It’s funny in an organisation how sometimes the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing. Our Standards team have been conducting the Emerging Technology Trials on behalf of the National VET E-learning Strategy, with one trial focusing on using the Augmented Reality (AR) app Layar.

This cool app allows you to hover a mobile device over an image or object that you taught it to recognise, and show an image, video or link to a website in response to that object. It works in similar ways to QR codes except that you no longer need the QR code. (Note that you might want to have them in some circumstances, as people are becoming used to them and automatically know what to do when they appear).

If you’d like to get more info on the trial, it’s called ‘Augmented Reality for Kitchen Orientation and Safety Procedures‘.

Now it also happens that we are looking at introducing an Augmented Reality application for our conVerge12 e-learning conference. A few of us have been looking at Aurasma, unaware of Layar. If you have any experience with either one of these apps, we’d welcome your opinion on Twitter! It seems that Aurasma recognises hand gestures, which makes our minds boggle even more at the possibilities for using this in training. Anyway we encourage you to have a play around with both and watch the demo video of Aurasma: