Just a Quick Reality Check!

Published by Caroline Carlin on

Author: Laura Ridings, eLearning Developer, Centre for Collaborative Learning, University of Central Lancashire

I first heard about Augmented Reality at the back end of 2009, I read about lots of exciting things that were happening in the world of print to bring the page to life and I thought that was pretty neat. Back then it was somewhat unusual but soon to become on-trend was to include a QR code that people could open other resources, including multimedia assets. As a teacher of Computing in Secondary School at the time, it was interesting to include QR codes within my wall displays that would open things I couldn’t display in 2D print on a wall.

Augmented reality uses existing reality and physical objects to trigger computer-generated enhancements over the top of reality, in real-time. Essentially, AR is a technology that lays computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real world. I remember seeing this amazing video back in 2012 and realised just how interesting Augmented Reality is.

There are many ways that we can think of Augmented Reality being used, the simplest way is using your phone – where what you see through the camera has digital elements added to it. The best known example of this is Pokemon Go, if you ever see a 70 year old man walking around aimlessly with his phone in front of him, don’t worry it’s just my father and you just need to shout “Pokemon Go Home!”.

So here in the Immersive Learning Lab, we are looking at developing projects to enhance teaching and learning using Virtual and Augmented Reality and something we are going to explore is Mixed Reality which combines elements of both AR and VR, real-world and digital objects. We have already showcased the Microsoft Hololens with some areas of the University as well as used for Point of View filming of scenes, but the possibilities with this amazing piece of technology are only limited by our imaginations. Really cool examples of how the Hololens is shown in this video produced by Microsoft.

We would love to chat with you if you have any ideas that we can develop or if you know of any apps that you would like to use with your students. We are based in the Library behind the security desk. The room is designed to hold about 10 people including a lecturer and we will be setting up a booking system in the New Year where you can bring your students for a specific time and utilise the headsets we have with external apps you have purchased or apps that we can develop with you. You can email Laura Ridings or Laura Ward in the Immersive Learning Lab at immersivelearninglab@uclan.ac.uk


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