Discussion 4 -Augmented Reality
also known as The Day a Dinosaur invaded my neighbourhood
Name of App - ARDinopark (available at the App Store for Free)
This week's discussion started with a decision: augmented or virtual. Both options seemed equally interesting so I began by trying to get a better understanding about what each can offer a user. I felt a little more familiar with virtual reality technology and my understanding was reinforced in the Sartain article Virtual reality: more virtual than real. In the article, virtual reality is defined as an immersive experience with a synthetic environment (Sartain, 2012). By contrast augmented reality is “a way to use technology to redefine space, and it places a virtual layer over the world with geographic specificity ensuring a good fit” (Drell, 2012). I ultimately decided to explore the world of augmented reality apps further and I was surprised to see how much is out there.
I installed an app called ARDinopark from the App Store on my iPad. It was free and looked interesting. Who doesn't want to see how a dinosaur would fit into our environment?
One fun feature of the app is that it allows users to change the ground in order to enhance the effect. You can see an example in the photo above. It is one of the few features of the app, which was a little disappointing. The app allowed users three options to position the dinosaur: near, far (both shown in the above pictures) and best shot. My dog, Jack, volunteered to sit in on the "best shot" option so I could show how it works.
As you can see the dinosaur image is pretty good and more imaginative users could have a lot of fun with the app. I used the Triceratops for my demonstration because it was the free option. Users can pay to add on a Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor or Brachiosaurus. I think that the app could have been improved by offering more free options. It would also be a lot more interesting if there were other options for backgrounds to enhance the experience.
More than entertainment
Augmented reality technology enhances experiences in ways that I never realized. The app I chose this week showed how augmented reality can be used for fun. However, this technology offers more than entertainment. Augmented reality technology can have practical applications, which was demonstrated by Ikea. With Ikea’s catalogue we can all test out furniture in our homes before making the drive to the store (Ikea, 2013). This can give buyers a rough idea of how items will fit in their homes before they purchase. Augmented reality can also be used to personalize things. For instance, the Philadelphia Eagles put this technology to use by bringing seasons tickets to life (Laird, 2012). When used in this way augmented reality technology gives season ticket holders an individualized experience.
My discussion shows one fairly simple augmented reality app that users would probably use a few times to take some fun photos. What I learned this week is that these types of apps are only the beginning when it comes to the available technologies. After this discussion I am a fan of augmented reality apps and will continue to look for new ones to try out. I put together my post using tack because it's a great way to share my photos for this discussion. This program is user friendly and allows the reader to scroll through the images easily.
Drell, L. (2012). 7 Ways Augmented Reality Will Improve Your Life. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/12/19/augmented-reality-city/.
Ikea, (2013). Place furniture in your home with augmented reality [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDNzTasuYEw.
Laird, S. (2012). NFL Team Enhances Season Tickets With Augmented Reality. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/07/21/nfl-tickets-augmented-reality/.
Sartain, D. (2012). Virtual Reality: More virtual than real. Retrieved from http://www.networkworld.com/article/2159959/software/virtual-reality--more-virtual-than-real.html?page=1.