Aurasma by Gabe Landau

Augmented Reality is a relatively new way to create interesting and interactive presentations and projects. It allows you to take any image, object, structure, place, or anything that you can take a picture of, and make it a “trigger image”. This trigger image will “trigger” sounds, movies, other images, or anything else you want and display them around the original image. Using this technology, people (especially students) can create works of art using their cameras. In my example, I take different blocks of metal from a chemistry class, and use those blocks as my “trigger”, each of them triggering information and other pictures about each of the metals.

Augmented Reality may create many new ways for students to use technology in the classroom. Besides my example, some other uses of Augmented Reality in the classroom could be: taking pictures of graphs in math and using the pictures as triggers, making a model of a story in English and using that as a trigger, as well as many more ways.

The app that I used to research and use Augmented Reality was called Aurasma. It is a very easy to use, lightweight app that provides the basics of Augmented Reality. Using Aurasma, I took pictures of different blocks of metal from my Chemistry class. Using some other iPad apps, I made neat little description boxes of these metals. Then using Aurasma again, I set the metal as trigger images for my descriptions. This way, whenever you would scan one of the metal blocks, a box appeared which had the metals Atomic Number, Atomic Mass, etc.

Despite the ease of use from this app, I do think it has some shortcomings. The main reason is that Augmented Reality has unlimited uses and possibilities, anything you can code can be done with Augmented Reality. However, that’s the issue. Most people don’t know how to code things, especially an Augmented Reality framework. The app makes it really easy to do things with pictures, but that’s about it. We are still on the hunt for an app that offers the perfect mix of features and ease of use, and so far, Aurasma is the best we’ve found. Currently, Aurasma is only available for iOS devices, and projects are difficult to share, where one person must have another (or a class) download the project files for it to work.

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