Last autumn I got the chance to play with an Augmented Reality (AR) app. I used it to create artwork for a class assignment on identity, exploring its many facets.
Augmented reality” allows the user to see the real world overlaid with a layer of digital content, such as images, animations, and other types of data, sound, video, graphics or even location-based (GPS) information.
The app I used is made by UK-based company, Zappar. They provide the software you use to create the interactive AR experience yourself. I used the free option and it worked pretty well, after a bit of dedicated time on the ol´ learning curve. The real magic is the ease of use for people who want to interact with my artwork. You just download the app, fire it up,and then “Zap” the code that appears in my image. When you do this the work comes alive with additional content.
AR is hugely promising and already here today. At the moment Virtual Reality (VR) is all the rage, but the headsets are disorienting (think: motion sickness) and still very expensive. There is also mixed reality (MR) and this is just utterly amazing. For example, see Magic Leap´s Whale Jumping out of a gymnasium floor. If there was any doubt at all where technology is taking us you need look no further.
I am loving the possibilities for AR, VR and MR down the line. The applications cut right across a huge number of sectors. These technologies can be applied beyond traditional gaming uses, from industrial to medical, education and much more. The story-telling and artistic applications are only just getting started, but stay tuned. I hope to do much more.