Editor’s Note: This post was authored by first-year Help Desk staff member Mira Mehdi, BHS Class of 2015. In addition to her involvement in the Help Desk, Mira is also a part of the BHS TED-Ed Club. Mira is an enthusiastic student who is proving to be a tremendous asset to the Help Desk program.
Although Aurasma is a relatively new app, as it launched in 2011, it has already received global recognition as the leader in augmented reality. The company has over 20,000 partners and operates in more than 100 countries worldwide.
AURASMA AT BHS:
My Help Desk teacher, Mrs. Scheffer, introduced me to this app. I, along with every other student who saw Aurasma in action, found it fascinating! In fact, every student’s jaw literally dropped when we demonstrated the app. No joke! Around here, it takes a lot to impress BHS students with technology. So to get this kind of reaction from both students and teachers, I knew I was onto something big! When I first used the app, I was amazed at how it could detect images or objects and be able to make a video and/or image pop up right on the screen. If you think QR codes are cool, wait until you see this! After watching a quick tutorial on how to make my own Aura, I decided to give it a try, plus Mrs. Scheffer didn’t really give me a choice if I’m being honest. However, I’ve really enjoyed learning about this technology and the best part is that I’ve been teaching others how to use it also. Over the past two weeks, I’ve become so good at this technology, that Mrs. Scheffer has now coined me the official “resident Aurasma expert.” Since discovering the app, we’ve created a Burlington Public Schools Channel, which members of the BHS school community can now follow. This channel is where we will be creating and sharing all of our public Auras. And just last week, Mrs. Scheffer came up with the idea to bring an augmented reality experience to this year’s BHS Art Show and Fashion Show. The art and fashion students in Mrs. Chang, Mr. Mistler, and Mr. Ratkevich’s classes have all been creating Auras for their art work which is currently on display in the Lower Library and will be featured in the 41st annual Art Show, this coming Thursday March 20th. To experience the art show through augmented reality, we invite to you follow the public channel Mr. Mistler created which is BHS Art Show14. You will need to have the Aurasma App on either your iPhone, Android, or iPad. The art pieces that offer an augmented reality experience will have an Aurasma logo on the upper left-hand side.
There is a lot of potential for this app to be used in the classroom in a variety of creative ways. If you want to give this technology a try, I’ve created a step-by-step tutorial on to go about creating your very own augmented reality experience.
Step 1: Open the Aurasma App and Create a Channel
Once you’ve opened the app, you’ll have to create a channel, or an account. When you start using Aurasma, you have the choice of making the auras either private or public. If you want to share your auras with others through the app or social networks, I would advice you to make your auras public. In order for the public to view your Auras, they would have to be following your channel, with their own account.
Step 2: Upload an Overlay
Your overlay can be either an image, a video, or a 3D scenes or model. This is what will actually pop-up on the screen, once the trigger image is recognized.
Step 3: Create a Trigger Image
Once you’ve created an overlay, you have to select it. After selecting it, you’re going to have to create your trigger image. The trigger image is the image/object that the device is going to detect. There will be a small spectrum on the bottom of the app that will read either red, yellow, or green. If it’s on red, that means the trigger image will not be able to be detected. If it’s on yellow, it will be detected but will take time. Ideally, you want it to be on green, which means it will definitely be detected, however yellow is fine too. Once it’s on green, or yellow, you have to click the camera button to take the picture. From there, the overlay will pop-up and you will be able to move it around, shape it, and put it wherever you want.
Step 4: Make it Either Public or Private
Once you’ve positioned your overlay onto your trigger image, you’re almost done. Now, you’re going to have to name your Aura. Once named, make it either private or public. If you want to make it private, select that and you’ll be done. If you want to make it public, you’re going to have to add it to a channel by clicking “yes,” next to “add to a channel.” If you have multiple different channels, they will all come up and you’ll have to choose one. If you only have one channel, only that one will come up and you would have to just choose that one.
Real World Applications of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality should not be thought of as just another technology gimmick. Major corporations are implementing this technology to solve problems and improve the customer experience. A variety of industries are on the cutting edge of augmented reality and the museum community in particular has embraced the use of augmented reality to provide visitors with an interactive experience. This was what gave Mrs. Scheffer the idea to bring Aurasma to this year’s art show.
Want to learn more?
If you are interested in trying this free app for either your iPhone or iPad, check out this comprehensive guide to learn more about Aurasma. For additional video tutorials and demos, check out the Aurasma YouTube channel. If you have any questions about this app, or want to discuss the creative ways you could integrate this technology into your curriculum, come down to Help Desk and meet with me or Mrs. Scheffer to explore how to bring learning to life for your students using Aurasma!