What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality abbreviated as AR is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. The information can be additive (adding more feel to the environment) or destructive (masking off the unnecessary natural environment).
Some common examples of the vast use of AR are mobile games like Pokemon Go and the popular social media photo app, Snapchat. These apps use AR for analyzing real-time user surroundings and further enhance user experience.
AR exhibits certain similarities with VR but has quite a few differences as well. Virtual Reality (VR) is entirely based on the virtual reception of the information, while in Augmented Reality (AR), the user is provided with more computer-generated information that enhances the perception of reality.
Taking a real-life example, VR can be used to create a walk-through simulation of a building under construction while AR can be used to show the building’s structures on a live view.
Uses of AR in Education
The field of AR recently showed some massive development after the immense popularity of apps like Pokemon Go. Recent upgrades have started to find its uses in the vast education industry. The traditional method of education is slowly becoming obsolete, and with the increasing technological growth, the education system is being digitized. The education technology industry giant, namely EdTech, is slowly adopting the use of AR and is predicted to reach around $252 billion by 2020, growing at a 17% annual rate.
Augmented Reality serves several purposes. It helps the students acquire, remember, and process the information. Additionally, AR makes learning easy and fun. Its use is not limited to the pre-school level but can be used equally till college and even at work.
Benefits of Augmented Reality
Due to a large number of benefits of Augmented Reality, its usage has become very frequent in learning. Its main advantages are –
- Accessibility of Material – Augmented reality has the unique potential to replace the traditional paper textbooks, physical models, or printed manuals. It offers portable and less expensive learning materials. As a result of this, education becomes more accessible and mobile.
- No special equipment requirements – Apart from a typical smartphone, Augmented Reality doesn’t need any more sophisticated equipment as in the case of VR.
- Higher Engagement and Interest – Interactive AR based learning has a significant impact on students helping them in understanding and remembering the concepts for a more extended period.
- Faster and effective Learning Process – Through visualization and immersion in the subject, AR ensures that the concept is deeply instilled in mind. A picture is worth a thousand words, Isn’t it? So instead of thousands of words of theory, the user can visualize the matter with their own eyes.
- Practical Learning – The use of AR in professional learning gives an accurate reproduction of in-field conditions that can help in mastering the practical skills required for a specific job.
- Improved Collaboration Capabilities – AR offers vast opportunities to diversify and shake up boing classes. Interactive lessons involving the whole level at the same time help in building qualities of team-work.
- Safe and Efficient Workplace – Consider the field of heart surgery or a Space Shuttle. Without the introduction of actual dangerous equipment, the students can be taught in real life, how to solve problems.
- Universality – Augmented Reality applies to any form of education and can significantly enhance the learning experience.
Challenges faced by Augmented Reality
There are certain challenges that you should take into account while using Augmented Reality:
- Necessary Training Required – Conventional Teachers can find it difficult using new technologies into practice. Only the innovative and open-minded teachers will be ready to apply Augmented Reality in education.
- Hardware Dependency – Requirement of AR equipment is necessary to make full use of this technology. All the students might not have a smartphone capable of supporting AR applications.
- Platform-Based Issues – The AR app built must run equally well on the various available platforms.
Examples and Use Cases
The most popular application of Augmented Reality is unarguably in the field of education.
- It can help a teacher explain using a visual representation of the subject, which would help the students understand a subject better.
- Another case of Augmented Reality is distance learning. Students can learn even outside the classroom anytime, anywhere.
On a final note, Augmented Reality is a blessing in the education industry. It is not only beneficial to the students but also makes the work of teachers more comfortable and convenient.