Augmented Reality education – a new reality

Using Augmenting Reality to make a difference.

Augmented reality (AR) isn’t a tool of the future anymore. We’re seeing it implemented in inventive ways – like in Google Earth 2.0, which we wrote about recently.

Using Google’s Tango Technology, Google AR allows students to get up close and personal with 3D images of the globe, DNA sequences, or even Category 5 hurricanes by beaming them into their classrooms.

And Google is not alone: Tech companies are grasping the potential of AR and are using it as a way to spark curiosity among youth.

The explosive popularity of last summers’ hit game Pokemon Go has inspired companies like Internet of Elephants, the US and Kenya-based startup behind the new AR-based app Safari Central.

The app uses actual tracking data from animals in national parks and allows users to follow migration patterns of animals in their own cities. “Think of it as Pokemon Go, but where the animals are real animals, and where they move around a city based on their actual movements, not where we tell them to go,” Gautam Shah, founder of Internet of Elephants, told the media outlet Quartz.The idea is that by getting more individuals to have a an up close understanding of endangered species, they will be more likely to aid in conservation efforts more than conventional fundraising approaches.

A preview of the app will be released in August, with a full launch planned for December of 2018.

Publica, a non-profit journalism organization based in Rio De Janeiro is using AR to tell history. Its ground-breaking app, The Museum of Yesterday, takes users on a tour of Rio’s historic slave port – the largest in America. Brazil was the last country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery.

While following along with the app, visitors see icons pop up telling the history of designated areas as they walk around the site. Visitors can choose from five different tour options, allowing users to experience the site through different lenses of the port’s history.

After the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the port was completely remodeled to include the futuristic Museum of Tomorrow and an aquarium. Some locals worried that the long and contentious history of the area would be forgotten.

“Rio’s port carries a lot of the history of Brazil,” said Publica journalist Gabriele Roza, “what we realized was that these stories are not present here.” Through their use of AR, The Museum of Yesterday app brings these stories back to the forefront, and encourages visitors to enjoy the new space without forgetting those who came before.

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