Before starting on this module, I hadn’t experimented with augmented reality (AR) very much. I didn’t know much about it at all, and wasn’t even sure what the differences were between it and virtual reality. As I began my research, I learned that augmented reality allows users to see and interact with the real world while digital content is added to it, while virtual reality immerses users in a fully artificial digital environment.
As a explained in my previous post, I decided to focus on some of the helpful and educational aspects of AR. I chose to focus on two different apps, Google Translate and Star Walk.
The AR features of Google Translate can be extremely helpful for people visiting a foreign country, or for people who immigrate/move between countries. However, I learned through this project that there are definitely a lot of improvements that can be made. Google Translate is not good at translating any type of words/characters that are not in a font. For example, it works well with translating road signs or things online, but not with handwriting. This is illustrated in the pictures below.
The top two pictures are different things that I found online and translated. The third picture is of a wall hanging that I have in my dorm. It was given to me by a Chinese college student last summer when I was volunteering in China, and it reads, “It is such a delight to have friends visiting from afar.” As you can see, the translation is way off, but there are a few words that were picked up on.
The other app I chose to focus on was Star Walk, which is a very fun and easy app to use. I went outside at night to take the picture below.
As you can see, this picture was taken using the apps AR feature. I thought this was really cool! I’ve tried to find constellations in the sky before, but I am never able to. This app allows anyone to go outside, look at the stars, and discover all sorts of interesting things. I think that this app is a great way to get people who might not be interested at just looking at the stars to spend some more time outside learning while using a modern technology.
Overall, I learned that there are many different uses for AR. I spent some time researching other ways that it can be useful, like encouraging engagement, raising awareness, and providing fun learning opportunities. I thought that this campaign in particular was a wondering example of the kinds of things that can be accomplished with augmented reality. I am excited to see where augmented reality goes in the future, and I am glad that I had this opportunity to learn more about it.