Augmented Reality: Bringing The Static To Life


Augmenting the static reality of a display board or newsletter with video clips, presentations and image galleries sounds like an expensive and difficult operation.  When I described it to a colleague this week, they asked where all of the wires from the display board would be routed, how much it would cost for so many screens and how they make them thin enough to stick to paper.

Augmented Reality involves viewing a two dimensional image through the camera of a device to unlock videos and images that have been overlayed in the virtual world.  As the image is viewed on screen it transforms.  The real world image remains unchanged while the magic appears on screen.  This week I took the plunge into this Augmented world with the free app, Aurasma.

The power of Aurasma to bring the static to life is immense.  My static display boards now come to life with video when scanned.


My writing frames pop up help videos when scanned enabling students to access tutorials as and when they need them.



The whole process takes minutes to produce and is free.  These overlays can be shared locally so they can be accessed on any device within a certain GPS location or can be shared via a Channel so they can be accessed anywhere.  This is where the power and potential is fully unlocked.

By creating an Aurasma Channel students can access the help pop ups on their home device.  They don’t need to be connected to the school network and the file is not stored locally.  It can only be accessed if the correct image is scanned and the device is “following” the correct Aurasma Channel so security is not an issue.

Picture This

Imagine your school newsletter with actual footage of the winning goal from this weeks football match popping up when the review is scanned or the talent contest winners performance playing instead of the static photograph.  Imagine visitors being taken on a guided tour of the school via videos of students talking about what happens in each area when a display board is scanned.  Best practice work can be displayed with commentary explaining why it is so good instead of the piece being simply stuck to a display.  The newsletter given at the start of the year could become a weekly update point for news, calendar items, celebrating successes or giving reminders.

With students creating their own channel, the potential increases exponentially.  Not only would the revision guide access the class tutorial videos but students could create their own personal videos to Augment them with.  Novels could have their covers augmented with plot summaries.  Play scripts could unlock footage of students acting out key scenes.  Diagrams could come to life to reveal working examples in motion.  Students own work could even be augmented with video feedback from teachers, peers or themselves by simply sticking a scan-able clip art image to the bottom.

I have dipped my toe into an Augmented World.  The power, potential and possibilities have blown me away and now I look at every image, display and surface in school as a potential canvas for videos and galleries.  This may be the start of a beautiful friendship.


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