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Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging form of experience in which the real world is enhanced by computer-generated content specific to a location and to an activity.  Today, AR applications have become portable and available on mobile devices.  AR is beginning to change news, entertainment, sports, e-commerce, travel, museums, architecture, and marketing in tangible, exciting ways.  In education and training, AR has the potential to make ubiquitous learning a reality, allowing learners to gain immediate access to a wide range of location-specific information from various sources.  The 2010 Horizon Report predicts that the use of simple AR in education will be widespread within 2 to 3 years on US college campuses.

Below is a presentation I recently gave at the 2011 Creating Futures Through Technology Conference (CFTTC) in Biloxi, Mississippi.  In my presentation, I introduced the concept of AR, discussed the recent AR developments, examined the impact of AR on society, and discussed the implications of AR for education.  Please feel free to offer your comments and suggestions.  Thanks.

 

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Ford of Britain recently launched an augmented reality campaign featuring the new 7 seat Grand C-MAX car at shopping centers in the UK. This is the first outdoor augmented reality campaign to use 3D depth imaging technology in the UK.

The campaign allows people to handle and explore 3D ‘virtual’ models of the cars on screen and in the palm of their hand.  Rather than using a printed marker or symbol as a point of reference for interaction, the user interface is based on natural movement and hand gestures allowing any passerby to immediately start interacting with the screen content. A Panasonic D-Imager camera accurately measures the users real-time spatial depth output and Inition’s augmented reality software merges this real life footage with the 3D photo-real Grand C-MAX on screen. Users can interact with the car simply by holding their hands up to the screen. Virtual buttons allow the user to choose the color of the car, open doors, fold the seats flat, turn the car 360 degrees and select demos of the car’s key features.  The campaign video was quite impressive.  You can see it here yourself.

 

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Augmented realty (AR) is gaining momentum.  We are getting to see more and more the use of AR in various applications.  Just this week, HP Asia Pacific and Japan used augmented reality to showcase a new range of connected products and solutions at the A New HP World event in Shanghai.  It was quite a show.

 

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