One of the showcases at the recent TLT Faculty Social was Augmented Reality.  Augmented Reality refers to the addition of a computer-assisted contextual layers (3D objects, etc) of information over the real world, creating a reality that is enhanced or augmented.  This is typically done using some sort of mobile device that has an integrated webcam and compatible software.  In the 2011 Educause Horizon Report, they estimated the time to adoption in higher education to be 2-3 years.  Here is an excerpt from the report.

“Augmented reality, a capability that has been around for decades, is shifting from what was once seen as a gimmick to a bonafide game-changer. The layering of information over 3D space produces a new experience of the world, sometimes referred to as “blended reality,” and is fueling the broader migration of computing from the desktop to the mobile device, bringing with it new expectations regarding access to information and new opportunities for learning. While the most prevalent uses of augmented reality so far have been in the consumer sector (for marketing, social engagement, amusement, or location-based information), new uses seem to emerge almost daily, as tools for creating new applications become ever easier to use.”

During the Faculty Social showcase a few examples were shown just to give the user an idea of what augmented reality is.  Here are a few links to what was shown.

Augmented Reality Chemistry Review – View and learn more about 3D chemistry molecules.  Must have a webcam and download and print the provided review cards.

Ray Ban Virtual Mirror  –  Allows users to “try on” sunglasses from their computer.  Must have a webcam.

Metaio – Metaio allows users to create their own augmented reality in a few steps using the metaio creator.

Wikitude Mobile App – Wikitude is one of the leading Augmented Reality apps for mobile devices.  This app will, among other things, display things (stores, restaurants, etc) around your current location as you view the real world through your mobile device.

 20 Augmented Reality Experiments in Education – This was a hand out that lists 20 different ways in which users are starting to implement Augmented Reality into their curriculum.

Please contact your Instructional Technologist if you would like to learn more about Augmented Reality.