Kirk to Enterprise…

The ‘T’ in James T Kirk stands for ‘Tiberius’. And that’s incidental because this post is about something that’s been floating around in the digital universe for quite some time, but has only been in my peripheral vision until this week. Augmented Reality.

Here’s a nice film that neatly explains what Augmented Reality (AR) is.  Also, check out the other films made by Common Craft here.

Last week I went to…prepare for acronym overload here…JISC RSC SW’s annual TurboTEL event in Exeter. As well as presenting a couple of things that I shall try to blog about later this week, I also attended a fab demonstration where I got to experience AR first-hand. And I was blown away.

Blu tacked to the walls and windows were several A4 sized posters run off on a basic printer on standard office paper. One looked like a poster advertising the day’s event, the other a mock-up of the cover of a glossy lifestyle magazine. Completely and totally unremarkable. Until it was suggested by the session’s presenter that I downloaded an app called ‘Layar’ to my iPad.

Once installed, I scanned one of the posters with my tablet-exactly the same as scanning a QR code with a mobile device – and it came to life. The monochrome image bloomed into colour, moved and talked and I was momentarily transported to the world of hyper-coloured science fiction, toupees, male corsets and pointy latex ears. So impressed was I, while having the ‘brilliant’ idea to take some screen grabs, I didn’t think to film the experience.  I shall try to rectify that when I’ve got the hang of the site’s AR creator and made a few documents for myself. I have yet to take the plunge and create some AR materials because I want to make something tht’s good, though thinking about what to create should be fun.  Having signed up to I’ve had one or two ideas – one may be good enough to not want to mention yet.

Anyway, here’s a link to the site. it’s worth having a look, because I don’t impress eaily, and below are the screenshots I took. They may shed a litle light on how AR can be experienced.

Open the app, point your device infront of the image, wait a few seconds...

Open the app, point your device infront of the image, wait a few seconds…

...and the image starts to move, speak and totally freak you out.

…and the image starts to move, speak and totally freak you out.

Once scanned, my sceen shows areas I can interact with to access videos, an audio commentary, contact details, Twitter feeds and more. And they work!

Once scanned, my sceen shows areas I can interact with to access videos, an audio commentary, contact details, Twitter feeds and more. And they work!

My iPad and the 'Layad' app scanning a standard poster advertising today's event.

My iPad and the ‘Layad’ app scanning a standard poster advertising today’s event.

One thought on “Kirk to Enterprise…

  1. Pingback: TurboTEL 2013 | Bex Ferriday's Edutechy Wonderland

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