What is Augmented Reality?

From Minreeva by Paul T
URL: http://www.minreeva.com/blog/what-is-augmented-reality

It’s that time of the week again where we add another industry jargon to our ever-expanding collection of edtech terms. This week, we’ll discuss ‘Augmented Reality.’

The first thing that usually comes to mind when we hear “Augmented Reality” is “virtual reality.” Both are very different from each other. Virtual reality, or VR, is a reconstructed or simulated interactive environment that can be experienced through hardware like VR glasses or gloves.

PictureIron Man’s HUD. Image courtesy of Disney/Marvel

Augmented reality, on the other hand, is a live view of the current environment. In addition, the environment’s elements are augmented by a computer-generated sensory input like visuals, sounds, information, etc. The best example of augmented reality is Iron Man’s HUD (Heads-Up Display) – at least in fiction. Examples of real-life uses are HUDs for jets and drones.

Augmented reality is not far from being used as an approach for learning. With technology such as smartphones, tablets, Google Glass, HoloLens, and the Oculus Rift – just to name a few, we may have fully-AR-supported apps and environments within the next few years. Wouldn’t it be so much help if we can just point our phone (or our eyeglasses) at a certain object and the device then gives us information about it? With this in mind, augmented reality allows us to “point-and-learn.”

Here’s a short video from our friends over at Common Craft further explaining what augmented reality is. Cheers!

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