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Augmented Reality on your Campus – coming soon

Right now I’m tracking two technologies that haven’t really penetrated the Higher Education world yet—but I’m convinced they will: 3D video and augmented reality (or AR, as it’s known among the digerati). Ignore them at your peril. This is the future and they will impact the way everyone on your campus interacts with each other, your infrastructure, your technology and your space – so get ready for change and get ready to lead it!

If you haven’t yet seen the blockbuster movie Avatar, go see it in 3D, and I think you’ll understand why I’m so fascinated by this emerging technology. The storyline is fun, even if it’s not all that original or profound —but the 3D technology creates a completely new experience. It’s truly stunning.

I’m now seriously about how 3D might—or, rather, will—change the institutional world and I’m not just talking hum-drum BIM modeling – that’s so passé. What if we all had 3D video on our laptops? Or in our videoconferencing facilities? What could you do differently? How would interacting with remote colleagues change?

Now, combine those thoughts with a look at augmented reality—the imposition of digital images into real-world video displays like those yellow first-down lines that stretch across TV images of the football field during NFL games.

There is now an iPhone app that will show you what the Roman Forum (in Rome, dummy!) looked like several thousand years ago. The reconstruction is literally superimposed on the iPhone screen when you point the iPhone camera at a particular structure (you need the 3Gs model).  Click on this link for a short YouTube video demonstrating how you can see both the current and the reconstructed realities simultaneously.

And for another example of how just useful AR can be, check out this short video produced by  Worksnug. It shows how you can find a good coffee shop with free wifi in London, just by pointing your 3GS iPhone down the street.

If you don’t think this technology has real application for your campus and they way your institution will have to do business in the future, you will be left behind.

Have some fun thinking of the applications!

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