Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Augmented reality.
by Heather Harris Brady
If you took my hint earlier and downloaded the Layar app (Android, iphone/ipad), then you see this when you view my blog through the app. Hidden stuff! Pretty cool right? You can see a little slideshow with some little factoids about me, and a few other tidbits. (This is a photo I took of my ipad viewing my blog.)
Teachers have started using augmented reality in the classroom to embed richer information in graphics, posters, etc. Writers, of course, can use it as I have here – or you can use it to dress up your promotional posters, book covers, – pretty much anything! I’ve just done a simple demonstration here, but you can get crazy with videos that open up out of the page, etc.
The question becomes, how then, to make this magic happen. Well to do that you need two things:
- a creation site to allow you to build the hidden elements, and
- a viewer that will allow other people to see them through their phones, web cams and computer cams. Future web browsers will likely have this feature built in, but for now you have to download a viewer.
- Choose a trigger image. For the example above I used my blog header.
- Add overlays/auras.
- Assign actions to each overlay through pictures, web links, mailto links, etc.
The scripting is done for you behind the scenes, and includes handy features like the slideshow I used above. The free versions of these products are fully functional but ad-supported.