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Augmented Reality…for Free!

By Administrator | 3 April 2017

Augmented reality (AR) is a hot topic in tech, and for good reason. The technology allows viewers to expand their views of the world around them and explore new environments. We’ve already seen examples of how libraries are taking advantage of augmented reality from the augmented reality library orientation by University of Houston-Downtown to the Mythical Maze summer reading challenge and ShelvAR.

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Bringing science to life

Bringing science to life

People’s love of AR is undeniable – just look at the popularity of augmented reality games like Pokemon GO and Ingress, and there’s nothing quite like seeing a dinosaur in your local park! What you may not know is that you can use AR technology in your library absolutely free in less than five minutes.

So – are you ready to get started having your own augmented reality experiences? The easiest place to begin is with DAQRI’s apps.  They’re free to download for both Apple and Samsung devices, and are as easy to use as printing out a few pieces of paper and viewing them through the app. Elements 4D chemistry blocks and Anatomy 4D bring science to life while Enchantium and the Crayola apps are a great way to get younger kids in on the fun.




The augmented reality heart

The augmented reality heart

The Google Translate app enables users to view text and signage through their smartphone and have it instantly translated into 30 different languages – perfect for cultural and linguistically diverse communities.

Once you’re comfortable using AR apps, you can start using your own content – text, images and video – to build unique AR experiences into your library space. Aurasma is a free app that allows you to snap an image of an object and then choose or create your own content that will appear for anyone using the app to explore your space.

If you’re more dedicated to AR, there’s also paid software like Wikitude and Zapcodes that combine a computer-based creation program with a free viewer app that allow you to assemble more complex creations and collections.

Try creating an augmented reality scavenger hunt, curate an augmented reality exhibition, or add multimedia content to a timeline of photographs.  Imagine hosting a Mother’s Day program to create cookbooks from mum’s favourite recipes complete with video clips of mum doing the cooking, or a scrapbook that comes to life by holding your smartphone over the images.  The possibilities are endless!

Already using AR in your library? Tell us about it! Email so we can share your story with other libraries.


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