Posted tagged ‘animation’

The two types of augmented reality

20 July 2010

My favourite example of augmented reality is now a couple of years old:

While it might not be as flash as the xkcd enthusiasts might demand from this emerging technology, it remains practical and – gasp! – useful in the workplace.

And in one way at least, it is similar to this other famous example:

In both cases, artificial imagery is layered over the real world.

In the BMW example, the real world is on the other side of his glasses. In the Layar example, the real world is on the other side of his (or her?) smartphone.

Compare that with the wicked promo GE did for its Smart Grid:

Ryan watches the plane fly in The Sunday Telegraph's Night at the Museum 2 promo.I tried a similar thing at home when my local newspaper promoted Night At The Museum 2. I put the paper up to my webcam, and like magic a dinosaur skeleton came to life, a giant squid flailed its tentacles, and an aeroplane buzzed around my head.

But are these two latter examples really augmented reality?

By projecting both the digital imagery and the real background onto a computer screen, I would argue they are not actually augmenting reality. Instead, they are augmenting a representation of reality.

It’s just like adding cartoons to a movie set like they did in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, using CGI like they did in Star Wars, or even scribbling a moustache and devil horns onto someone’s photo.

Bob Hoskins & Jessica Rabbit, Jar Jar Binks, and a mistreated basketball coach.

In all these examples, the background isn’t real. It’s film, or light, or paper. In other words, a copy of reality.

Rewind

This insight was genius – at least in my own mind – until I realised that a smartphone doesn’t actually show reality on the other side of itself as do goggles or the viewfinder of an old camera. Instead, the device digitises the image and represents it as pixels on the screen, like a modern camera.

With that in mind, the Layar example is closer to the GE example than it is to the BMW example. Damn!

This was bugging me, and after a period of reflection I think I’ve identified why.

New criteria

To me, the exciting emergent form of augmented reality has the following characteristics…

1. It adopts the user’s personal POV.

When a webcam captures reality and projects it onto a computer screen, it’s not real in the sense that you don’t look at the background in that way (unless you constantly carry a mirror around with you).

A smartphone similarly projects the background onto its screen, but because you are mobile and pointing the device in front of you, it is for all intents and purposes real.

2. It is live.

We don’t live our lives by watching a recording of it. We live it here and now.

Reality is in real-time.

The two types

In light of the above criteria, I recognise two types of augmented reality:

  • Type I Augmented Reality (AR1), whereby the artificial imagery is layered over the background from the personal POV in real-time;

    and

  • Type II Augmented Reality (AR2), whereby the artificial imagery is layered over the background from an impersonal POV or not in real-time.

So this is an example of AR2

…because while the background is certainly real and the POV is personal, it’s not in real-time. It’s a recording.

Compare it to this example of AR1:

So what?

I know I’m being really pedantic, but for workplace learning purposes, it helps to be clear on what we’re talking about.

I think Type I Augmented Reality has amazing untapped potential because we see our workplace from our personal POV in real-time.

Type II Augmented Reality certainly has fantastic uses, but Type I is so much more authentic.

I’m sure we’ll see more AR2, and I hope we do.

However, I’m really looking forward to more AR1!

Advertisements

Pearls of wisdom from LearnX 2010

10 June 2010

This week I attended the 2010 LearnX Asia Pacific Conference in Sydney.

While I jotted down reams of notes, I’m a big fan of one liners.

So here are some single-sentence pearls of wisdom that I gleaned from the sessions I attended…

Pearls

Jane Bozarth – Pre- or post-questioning your learners via Twitter stops them from rambling.

Philip Roy – Massey University uses pre-recorded presentations and realtime web conferencing to reduce the transactional distance among their geographically separated students and instructors.

Roger Courville – Twitter can support informal learning outside of formal training sessions.

Miriam Scurrah – Technologies like iClone can make safety training enjoyable.

Ruth McElhone – Rapid authoring tools make in-house development a feasible option.

Chad Outten – Moodle is the #1 LMS among eLearning Guild members.

Tania Tytherleigh – The connection you make with your learners is more important than your experience or your expertise.

Rhys Moult – A little bit of HTML goes a long way.

Helena Popovic – Excitement is food for your brain.

Ramesh Nava – The fundamentals of assessment are validity, reliability and fairness.

Dawid Falck – User generated content is really powerful.

Anne Moore – Don’t think a degree will get you a job; it might get you an interview.

Eric Shepherd – Identity impersonation during e-assessment can be combated by invigilation and microcertification.

I can’t wait for the next one!
 

Green e-learning

19 May 2010

I launched a new vlog today called Greenwise.

It’s tag line is: Bite-sized chunks of environmental knowledge.

Greenwise

Why?

I’ve always admired the power of pictures to deliver extensive information concisely, and in this respect a 2-3 minute animation is the perfect medium.

It’s short and sharp, fun and engaging.

So it strikes me as odd that so few environmental organisations have embraced it.

It’s not easy being green

In terms of e-learning, I feel the green sector is not doing enough.

Sure, plenty of environmental organisations have a Facebook page, and some are even active on Twitter, but most of this activity is limited to echoing news or banal self-promotion.

I contend there is huge scope (some might say obligation) for these organisations to educate the public on the issues they hold so dear.

Enter green e-learning

It’s time for the green sector to trade propaganda for education, and I suggest the most efficient way of doing that is via e-learning.

In this age of Flash and Flickr, WordPress and Wikipedia, it’s never been so easy.

Green mouse

For example, with the help of a couple of talented friends, I produced a 2‑minute animation that explains the principles of global warming.

It’s a resource that I hope teachers will show in class, and L&D professionals will show in their workplaces.

But more importantly, I hope it will inspire environmental organisations to teach rather than flog.