Showing posts with label augmented reality ipad apps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label augmented reality ipad apps. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Gallery AR - Augmented Reality Art on Your Walls

Gallery AR is a free iPad app and free iPhone app that anyone can use to view classic works of art in augmented reality. The app features art work that was digitized by The Art Institute of Chicago.

Gallery AR digitally displays works of art on your walls when you point your phone or iPad at it. Works appear to be chosen at random, but you can swap them out with another work by tapping the reset icon in the app. You zoom in on the art work by walking closer to the wall in front of you.

In my testing of Gallery AR I found it to be a bit sensitive to changes in lighting. In fact, the app didn't display anything until I turned on every light in my office and opened the shades to let in sunlight. In fairness to the developer, I have the same problem with the augmented reality function in the Google Arts & Culture app.

Applications for Education
Gallery AR could be a nice app for art teachers to recommend to students who are currently at home and looking for a new way to experience classic works of art. The app is free and doesn't require any registration to use and doesn't offer any confusing in-app purchases.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

An Update to Five Directions for AR in Education

Lately, I have been spending quite a bit of time digging into research and academic writing about the development and evolution of many of the educational technologies that are common in schools today. Last week I read through Augmented Reality: An Overview and Five Directions for AR in Education authored by Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, Gallayanee Yaoyuneyong, and Erik Johnson and published in June of 2011 by the Journal of Educational Technology and Exchange. While I was reading I started to think about how far augmented reality has come in the last eight years. What follows is my commentary on those directions given the benefit of the last eight years of development of AR.

The Five Directions
The five directions that Yuen, Yaoyuneyong, and Johnson suggested in Augmented Reality: An Overview and Five Directions for AR in Education are AR books, AR gaming, discovery-based learning, objects modeling, and skills training.

AR Books
In reference to books the authors highlight the potential of AR books to engage many types of learners through many paths. A great example of this potential turned into reality is found today in augmented reality apps like Wonderscope and the World Wildlife Fund's Free Rivers app.

AR Gaming
In reporting about AR gaming in the context of education the authors of Augmented Reality: An Overview and Five Directions for AR in Education featured the study of an AR game called Alien Contact. Alien Contact was used in classrooms to promote engagement and learning in a lesson in which students had to determine why aliens would select an area of earth to land and settle upon. The study indicated that while some students did benefit from engagement others were overwhelmed by the technology. This was five years before the release of the massively popular Pokemon Go augmented reality game. Because of popular games like Pokemon Go students today are likely to be familiar with how to use AR games and so are less likely to be overwhelmed by the complexity of using an app to for an educational experience.

Discovery-based Learning
In Augmented Reality: An Overview and Five Directions for AR in Education the authors devote a section to the potential of augmented reality as a discovery-based learning tool. In doing so they point to using augmented reality applications on field trip experiences. The authors highlight using augmented reality to replace questions on paper with instant information available through the use of AR apps that provide students with instant information about the physical objects in front of them as well as the information about the places they are standing in. The authors highlight the Wikitude service for enabling that kind of instant information availability. Relying on Wikitude could be limiting because developers are inclined to create applications for the most popular places and artifacts. Through the use of a free service like Metaverse Studio teachers and students can develop augmented reality discovery experiences for lesser-known places. As an example, in 2017 I used Metaverse Studio to develop an augmented reality discovery experience for livestock pounds in my small town. You can read about the example and see Metaverse Studio in action here.

Objects Modeling
Yuen, Yaoyuneyong, and Johnson in Augmented Reality: An Overview and Five Directions for AR in Education listed objects modeling as their fourth direction for augmented reality in education. Their paper did not give as much attention to this direction as it did to the four other directions they highlighted. Still they did cite the example of researchers in the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand who developed an AR program that enabled users to convert two dimensional sketches into virtual three dimensional objects that can be manipulated to explore the interactions between the drawn objects. Again, Yuen, Yaoyuneyong, and Johnson were writing in 2011. Today, we find this technology readily available to teachers and students in the forms of Merge Cube and Quiver.

Skills Training
The fifth direction explained in Augmented Reality: An Overview and Five Directions for AR in Education was skills training. In this section the authors wrote, “Augmented reality has strong potential to provide powerful contextual, in situ learning experiences and serendipitous exploration while simultaneously promoting the discovery of the connected nature of information in the real world.” They go on to cite three studies including a study of using AR for training military mechanics. The study revealed that mechanics using AR were able to locate tasks more quickly than those in non-AR environments. In all of the studies the participants wore augmented reality-enabled glasses.

Eight years after Augmented Reality: An Overview and Five Directions for AR in Education the potential for AR as an aid in improving training and in completing tasks is still strong. In promotion of the enterprise version of Google Glass, Google showcases AGCO’s study that indicated a 25% reduction in production time for complex assemblies when laborers used Google Glass. Google isn’t the only company producing augmented reality-enabled glasses. You’ll also find offerings from companies including Vuzix, Daqri, and Magic Leap. As it has been for decades, cost continues to be the biggest obstacle to use of AR-enabled glasses in K-12 classrooms. School districts that struggle to put $200 Chromebooks into the hands of every student aren’t going to be spending $1,000+ for AR-enabled glasses any time soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

WWF Free Rivers - An Interactive, Augmented Reality Story About Rivers

WWF Free Rivers is a free augmented reality iPad app produced by the World Wildlife Foundation. The app uses augmented reality to present a story about rivers. In the app students learn about the importance of free-flowing rivers in world. The app offers a series of sections or experiences through which students can learn about how free flowing rivers support wildlife, agriculture, and people.

WWF Free Rivers tells students stories about the implications of changes in weather patterns, damming rivers, and pollution on river ecosystems. Students interact with these stories by moving their iPads and or by pinching and zooming on elements in the stories. Unlike some other AR apps the animations within WWF Free Rivers can be experienced by students from a variety of angles. A great example of this is found early in the app when students can see what a dam does to a river. During that experience students can see the dam from above, from below, and from the sides.

Applications for Education
WWF Free Rivers could be a good app to incorporate into a science or geography lesson. The app can be used by students without the need to sign-in or sign-up for an account in order to use the app. Despite not needing to sign into the app, students can close their iPads and pick up the story wherever they left off provided that they don't tap the button to restart the stories.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Wonderscope - An Interactive Story App for Kids

Wonderscope is an iPad app that uses augmented reality featuring stories that students interact with through voice and touch. Students position animations and interact with story animations by moving their iPads and reading the lines that appear on their screens.

Wonderscope doesn't require students to have any kind of log-in to use the stories in the app. Students simply open the app and tap the story to begin. Once the story is open students have to move around the room to make the animations appear on the screen. If students end up pointing the camera in a direction that isn't sustainable for the entirety of the story (looking at the ceiling, for example) they can reposition the animations. Once the animations appear students read the lines on the screen to unlock each chapter of a story. The animations in the story will talk to the students too. In the first story students pop balloons, position tea cups, and spin ferris wheels as part of the interaction with the stories.


Wonderscope includes one story for free and offers two others through in-app purchases. A fourth story is coming soon and, I presume, it will be available only through in-app purchase. Depending upon the age of your iPad, Wonderscope may not work for you. If you're in the market for a new iPad, Amazon has a great deal on current generation iPads for only $249 (current price as of 4:10pm on December 11th).

Applications for Education
Wonderscope is a great example of the potential for augmented reality to engage students in reading. The free story is fun and cute, but I'm not sure that every elementary school teacher would agree as it does have some funny (to kids) lines about burps and farts.