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How does AR work
History of Augmented Reality
Examples of Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality in Education
Research in Educational AR
Points for Consideration
Points for Consideration
Potential Pitfalls in AR
As with anything new, there are always early adopters and those who have a measured amount of caution with regard to adoption. Usually there is a certain area or sector that first adopts the technology, in the case of AR, the marketing sector, and as public acceptance grows, the technology moves more into mainstream culture. Initally the technology may carry with it a cache, novelty or gimmick factor. It's fun at first, but the novelty wears off. If the product has staying power it will outlast nay sayers and its relevance, value and utility will become apparent. The following points highight some of the pitfalls and affordances that should be considered with regard to AR.
What is Reality?
As digital technologies evolve, a blurring of what is classified as virtual or augmented may be a challenge. This may not be a concern as long as the the use of the application in Educaiton is pedagogically sound. However the bluring of worlds does raise the question of what is reality? Does the potential blurring of virtual and reality add to the age old ontological and epistimological debate of whether on not reality exists objectively, outside of us as an independent and measurable entity, or is reality simply based our our perceptions and lived experience? Either way it is important to ask, what is it about reality that we are augmenting, for what purpose and why? Who is doing the augmenting? The potential for bias and manipulation for social, polictical or marketing ends exists, particulary as this type of media poliferates and becomes more pervasive.
With increased availability of information will we experience cognitive overload? In the 2010 article "How to Survive Geolocation's Looming Apocolypse" Dave Curry warns of a swarm of Geolocation devices that could potentially overwhelm us with data. Curry talks about armies of aimless apps, drowning in a deluge of data, spates of vexing spam and problems with crime catyclysm, stalker apps, and misrepresnetation. However he is also positive and that we can prevent "Geolocationitis" by choosing wisely and marketers respecting and delighting consumers.
Technological trends include developing eye glasses or contact lens or vehilce windsheilds that will augment our reality. Thomas Carpenter, in his article
"7 Ways Augmented Reality Will Change Your Brain,"
presents both positive and negative sides of AR.
AR can be a strategy for learning, providing opportunities for failure and correction that can lead to optimal performance. However, he also suggests that too much information can be problematic. He points out that texting and driving is even more dangerous than drunk driving. Many cities now have legislation against the use of mobile phones while driving. We know we should not drink and drive. What about using AR and distracted walking? What learners need is the right information not what Carpenter calls, "vanity" information. Krevelen and Poelman (2010) speculate as to whether there will be rules limiting use of AR so as to prevent a user from over reliance on a AR system so that important cues from the environment.
Krevelen and Poelman
Can the brain cope with all this information? While people who use digital technologies say they are good multitaskers psychologists have started experiments on the nature and limits of human multitasking. It has been shown multitasking is not as workable as concentrated times. In general, these studies have disclosed that people show severe interference when even very simple tasks are performed at the same time, if both tasks require selecting and producing action.
Geolocation involves the tagging and embedding of information from smart phones. There has been some talk that twitters will also be geotagged. Users thus allow the applications to locate them at certain locations. The more users allow themselves to be tracked from location to location, the more information is collected. The question is how will this information be used? Will it be shared in ways we are unaware of? When we use the internet, websites leave cookies on our computers. Marketers use these to know details of our likes and dislikes so they can reach us through behavioural targeting and addressable ads. With geolocation data added to the mix, the marketers will know even more about us.
In October 2011 the CBC program Spark did a program of Facial Recongition and interviewed Alessandro Aquisti, an Associate Professor of Information
and Public Policy at the Carnegie Mellon University. Aquisti described an AR proof of concept experiment he conducted that was able to link the online and offline privacy worlds of people using facial recongition software and smartphones. In 27% of the cases using facial recognition software they were able to download, in real time, the first five digits of people's social security numbers.
While we may be judicious about what information is placed on the web we are not in contol of what others post on the Internet. Information about who we are potential can be accessed by stranges who may only be standing meters away from us.
While the sophistication of digital technology is improving and costs of the technology are diminishing, there are some technical limitations that exist. In order to use AR on smart phone GPS is required. However GPS techonology allows for accuracy of within 3 meters horizontally and that is dependent on atmosperic effects, receiver qualtiy and govenment control.
In addiiton location is based on the positioning of the mobile phone not the image that is being viewed from the device. Another consideration is the accruacy of information that is posted by individuals. There can be variations in spelling of locations, posting in inaccurate locations on a map.
Educational Concerns Cost Issues and the Digital divide.
Will everything be open to everyone equally? As technology advances will the be an increasing divide between the digitally literate and the digially illiterate?
While the use of smartphones, ipad, tablets are becoming more pervasive, will their use continue to create a digital divide between those who can afford
smart phones expensive data plans? Other AR applications require up-to-date laptops and webcams that are more costly. If a teacher chooses an augmented textbook will every college student be able to use the technology that it holds? Will schools be able to afford the costs of augmented reality applications? If the technology continues to rapidly evolve will Educational institutions be able to afford to invest in the technologies that may rapidly become out dated. The cost issue is also linked with concerns about theft of equipment, in particular smaller portable devices.
In addtion to concerns about access and cost there are questions about how AR aligns with different learning styles. There are conflicting views as to whether AR supports collaborative learning or not. Some perspectives suggest AR is more suited to individual experience and learning
, while others
Klopfer et al
believe it faciliates collaboration. The differing opinions may be based on differing perspectives of use, that iswhether mobile devices are used or using a stationary computer and webcam.
AR Trends: Where is it going?
With the increased access to AR technology through the use of smartphones, AR is making its way into popular culture. One of the outcomes of increased access to AR is the idea of ubiquitis leaning. More information will be available and over layed with real objects in real time to the average person. The challenge will be for the average person to sort through all the information to assess where and who the information is comming from.
One of the key elements in the development of AR will be to blend the technogy with human factors to make them practical and easy to use. Right now the small surface on smartphones may be a challenge to view information for some users. Will the iPad or Tablet technolgy become more important in the use of AR. AR glasses are becoming a real possibilty for the future. Will the use of AR glasses make AR more accessible for learning in and out of the classroom?
A company, Vuzix, had developed AR eye glasses the Wrap 920AR. Who will wear them? TheWrap 920AR is heavier than a regular pair of glasses. The displays are connected to two video cameras that sit outside of the glasses in front of the eyes. The screens show each eye a slightly different view of the world, mimicking natural human vision, which allows for depth perception. Accelerometers, gyro sensors, and magnetometers track the direction in which the wearer is looking. The glasses also come with ports that let users plug it into an iPhone for portable power and controls, such as loading a particular AR object or environment.
The following Youtube video from Fujikawa gives an idea of what wearing AR glasses might be like.
Awesome Augmented Reality Glasses StarkHUD2020 from Fukikawa
BMW has also developed AR eye glasses that could assist Mechanics in the repair of BMW vehicles. In the future, we may see cara with eye dialing or navigation screens.
BMW AR glasses
Not only will we likely asee AR used in vehicles, we are more likely to find it in stores as virtual window dressings or on posters or in information brochures.
AV might become a part of our furniture, as part of pictures on our walls for example.
AR is also has the potiential to change gaming. A Stanford physicist, Igmar Riedel Kruse, has been developing biotic games using single celled organisms like paramesium. In these games the virtual world is used to manipulate living organisms. The purpose of the games is to create awareness of biorelated issues.
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