What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality can take several forms. The most popular form shows your view of ‘reality’ through your mobile phone’s camera which can be ‘augmented’ with other information supplied by the internet, such as text, images, audio, video and even 3D models. Other forms of augmented reality allow you to use a laptop or desktop computer, where its webcam can recognise items that it see’s and overlay information.
Check out the short video below.
Viewing the real world combined with your location, maps from Google, articles from wikipedia, images from panoramio, reviews from qype, and tweets from people near you, tie the real and virtual worlds together in interesting ways. This allows you to discover information you need in a more natural way than searching the internet using text alone.
Here at the University of Exeter we are using the Layar application (available for iPhone and Android) to overlay an augmented reality view of our campuses with over 400 POI’s (points of interest). Each one of these POI’s can link to other information depending on the object being viewed. For example, a computer cluster of open access machines will tell you how many are in use before you walk to them, a statue will playback an audio podcast explaining details about it, and a cafe will point to its website showing you their menu and what it looks like.
If you prefer, a map view is available that combines google maps with campus POI’s. These POI’s can be updated very quickly giving students, and visitors, a responsive interactive map.