Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paper + Layar + iPads = Augmented Reality

Schools are buying iPads in droves and whether we fundamentally agree if these are the device of choice moving forward, it often feels as if the wave of iPads is more like an oncoming tsunami.  Personally, I am ready to hop on my surfboard (even though I don't have one and don't know how to surf) and ride that tsunami into the future.  I'm primarily excited about these devices in the classroom because I believe that they allow students to create and engage the content in ways otherwise not possible.

I recently came across the concept of using Augmented Reality with iPads.  While there are a number of platforms available to created augmented reality experiences with the iPad, the platform that I have found to be terrible user friendly and easy to use is Layar.  I may be late to the party on this web tool and iPad app, but I am going to continue on with the hopes that someone finds this useful in their classroom (fingers cross).

The technical setup is quite simple:

1. Create paper based content: Poster, drawing, document with images...

2. Upload the document as a PDF to Layar.  To assist in the process of capturing a large poster or drawing as a PDF, I suggest using DocScanHD Pro to convert any image to a PDF on the iPad.

3. Once the PDF is uploaded to Layar, insert augmented reality content on top of the PDF.  You can add multiple augmented reality points onto the PDF.

Here is a screenshot of a conference flyer that I uploaded and inserted augmented reality "hot spots".
As you can see below, the flyer was uploaded as a PDF and I inserted a website, the iPad anda link to a blog.

Classroom Implications & Applications:

I think it is safe to say that we will continue to have students create paper based projects in the classroom.  However, with the use of Augmented Reality, that typically static paper product can now become interactive.  Imagine for instance a student created poster that is then scanned as a PDF, uploaded to Layar and then Augmented Reality can be added.  A student's poster of WWII battles for instance could be linked to relevant websites, student created video that is uploaded to YouTube, a blog that the student is also writing about WWII as a fictional soldier.

How would you use Augmented Reality, iPads & Layar in your classroom?

To test out this Augmented Reality experience, download the Layar app on your iPad and scan the image below...

1 comment:

  1. I went to a conference in Calgary, AB called ConnectED Canada, which was held at the Calgary Science School.

    This school had iPads for all of their grade 7 students last year, and they were using augmented reality in some of their bulletin boards and projects. It was amazing! They used an app called Aurasma Lite, which was quite easy.