With the Internet connecting us to many things (media, photos, information, etc.) can it also connect us to physical objects? Can we launch applications on our computer by just touching a physical object? Can one physical object talk to another physical object through an Internet connect and command it to do a physical act or feed it data? The answer is yes and this phenomena is called “The Internet of Things”. Continue reading
Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for some time and also has been labeled as a “gimmicky” technology. With a couple of new applications using AR, it is now being revisited again in the educational world. What exactly is AR? According to Wikipedia Augmented Reality is “ a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.” So AR is not VR (Virtual Reality) where everything you see and experience is not interacting in your own real environment and is computer generated. AR uses the real world around you and blends your perceptions of world with technology enhancements (be it 3D graphics or images or text) and overlays the technology on your real world environment. A good example of AR that many see is in sports. AR is used in football TV broadcasts. A yellow line is superimposed on the grass to show viewers where the first down marker is located. If you were a fan in the stands, you do not see the line since you are viewing the game in the real world and without a device that is projecting the AR object, the yellow line. AR helps us interact and digitally manipulate the real world around us. Continue reading
New app called Word Lens uses the iPhone’s camera to view a phrase in another language and translate the phrase right inside the camera, showing the translated text and not the original text (that is the augmented reality part of the app). The app is free but you have to pay for language packs. The only language pack available is English-Spanish and Spanish-English. That language pack costs $4.99. To view the app in action, watch the video below:
In a recent blog post by David Hopkins, the author explores the Augmented Reality and how it could be used in education. Some of the pluses of augmented reality for education that David discusses are:
- "Learning styles: rich examples of complex phenomena (engineering, earth sciences, medicine, environmental applications to name a few) while being engaging.
- Authentic Learning: AR can tremendously enhance vocational studies for those wishing to enter the trades: auto and aviation mechanics, electricians, carpenters, etc… The ability to annotate real elements and the ability to add to reality by superimposing virtual aids, will aid in instruction and learning for those disciplines where a specific spatial configuration of elements must be learned and remembered (auto mechanics, medicine, chemistry).
- Realistic models: AR provides a means of “seeing” phenomena in 3D, thereby bringing the contextual three dimensional nature of the real world to the their learning. Textual and pictorial information in the typical 2 dimensional print-based resources loses much of the richness of the “real” world elements, and involves an element of interpretation that is difficult for some students.
- Engagement/Interactivity: Illustrations in books can come to life with AR technology and can captivate readers of all ages."
According to Wikipedia "Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage. " Recently a lot of companies have been using AR to promote their brands (check out GE and their energy grid). But a lot of people have wondered, is AR appropriate for the classroom and education? Check out the video below to see how AR works and how it it can be used in engaging students in the classroom.