Education Digital Transformation Trends

Education Digital Transformation Trends 

There is no doubt that digital technologies make our life easier. Up until now, digital technology has been dominating every aspect of our lives, except for education. Times are changing, and digital technology is advancing to change the education sector for all the right reasons. The traditional learning environment is now enhanced due to the digital transformation that’s available.

In the 21st century, digital transformation in education is a necessity and the need of the hour. The benefits of technology in the classroom is valued by all educators across all levels of education.

The current digital trends are making rounds in the education sector and making a name for themselves. Digital transformation in the educational sector is already leading teachers to make drastic changes in the way of planning lessons, the physical appearance of the classrooms, and assigning assessments, at a much faster rate than expected. Or one might say, it was unexpected for educators to adapt to digital transformation so quickly.

Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality / Mixed Reality  

Today, it is hard to expect our students to sit quietly in the classroom and pay attention. Gone are the good old days, when students used to sit quietly and follow instructions. Teaching is evolving and is beginning to focus on a more interactive way of learning. Classes are beginning to become more collaborative and interactive with the introduction of educational technology.

Examples of transformative technology include; Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. These technologies enhance the students’ experience of receiving instructions from the teacher, which helps in creating immersive lessons that are a lot more fun and appealing for the students. 

The idea of Immersive technologies is to bring the outside world inside and take the inside world outside. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies have the capability and potential to do the same. There are educational apps that allow students to travel to Greece of ancient times, while others apps allow students to go ahead with sharing the respective virtual creations with the outer world. Immersive technologies as a learning tool increases technological literacy, visual literacy, and attention skills, potentially transforming every classroom and enhancing the learning experience for students.

Artificial Intelligence 

The use of Artificial Intelligence in ChatBots ensures that students answer all the questions related to the set homework, and can help in the case of urgency to understand the process of paperwork – such as financial aids and paying bills. Also, the use of Artificial Intelligence helps in easing the workload of the people, who otherwise have to go through the tedious process of explaining the same thing, individually to each student, whenever they have a query. 

These new technologies and opportunities are a fun and exciting way for students to learn. These advanced learning opportunities offer endless possibilities, in which otherwise would not be possible for the students to experience.

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AR/VR Magic in Education

AR/VR’s immense potential in the field of Education is picking up with several colleges inculcating it in their activities. A snapshot of how technology has added value to what they do:

Iowa State University

How does a player train at a centre on par to the field experience without having to visit one? That is where VR came-in handy for the students and faculty at the Iowa State University.

Virtual Reality Applications Centre

The University’s football coaches collaborated with the Virtual Reality Applications Center to recreate a live match effect just like at Jack Trice stadium to help players train.

The virtual action takes place in the C6, an immersive VR environment in the VRAC. The players wear a VR headset and practice in a live stadium setup with virtual opponents. This enabled students to place themselves in the centre of action.

Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD)

We might just be few steps away from an actual teleporting facility. In the virtual world, one can place themselves on the other side of globe at the touch of a button.

VR Recruiting Toolkit

People at SCAD have done just that, sending out Google Cardboards to 30,000 of their recruits last year, enabling them to view their campuses across the globe. The excitement of the students to view their home for next few years and the parental concern of where their ward will be resolved at the touch of a button.

Utilizing the other fruits of VR, the university took to AR to provide enhanced course catalog with AR videos and animations that aided course study for several students.

Texas A&M University – Virtual Campus Tours

VR campus tours have become tech fad at most universities. Texas A&M University unveiled immersive 360-degree VR tours at SXSW in March, showing how VR aides as a recruitment tool. The VR tours also relieve the management and students of having to work a mutually agreed date and time of tour as it enables tours from anywhere, anytime the student wants. Furthermore, the virtual tours provide a much-detailed over view of all the aspects in a campus as opposed traditional walk-in basic over-view.

Embrace excellence in the field of Education, setup your own AR/VR facility at just one click.

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Based on an article that was first published in Edtechmagazine.com

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If it keeps on rainin, the levee’s gonna break.

It is common knowledge that as technology evolves, individuals are becoming more informed and driven to create content aligned to their passions. Think about the content you are seeing in your social feeds – your colleague’s oddball memes, Aunt Sue with puppy’s ears and your old school mate Trevor Lam and his latest “work of art” – everyone around us is getting more and more able to express their creativity and publish it too. Facebook Augmented Reality (AR) is going to allow people to express themselves a whole lot more.

 

Give everyone the power to share anything with anyone.

– Mark Zuckerberg

 

What is F8 – and why should you care?

The Facebook Developers conference (F8) was first hosted in 2007 – where the team at FB presented the social graph – or a rendition of the concept of a social network. Subsequent editions of F8 hosted similarly theoretical principles behind the evolution of the behemoth that FB is today. Essentially, this is the conference where they announce their next plans, and given how integrated FB is in our lives today – you might want to be aware of what’s ahead.

 

F8 2017: Facebook Augmented Reality

Earlier this week, at F8 2017, Mark Zuckerberg (Zuck!) shared an update on the next phase of FB’s 10-year product plan, originally shared in at F8 2016. Commencing with some warm up jokes about the release of Fast and the Furious 8 (the “other” F8 ) this week, Zuck proceeded to give us a snapshot of how FB plans to integrate AR into camera functions in their apps.

 

Click to read: Business Insider’s article on the release of the FB 10-year plan

Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote from Day 1 of F8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CchpWBIA_S4

 

FB, AR & Cameras – how do they come together?

In recent times, the FB family of apps (FB, Messenger, Instagram & Whatsapp) have seen the integration of camera icons across the board – enabling functions such as video conferencing. While these changes have gone unnoticed by some, it is estimated that the FB messenger app has 1.2 billion monthly users.

 

Facebook-Messenger-Video-Calling

FB Messenger with camera Icon (Source: Forbes)

Click to read: Forbes article on Facebook Messenger passing 1.2 billion users

 

And how does AR fit into this equation?

Zuck went on to share a common understanding that AR is essentially used for three key purposes;

  • The overlay of data onto the physical reality around us – such as messages or information
  • The ability to add digital objects into our surroundings – like a virtual television or gaming avatars
  • Enhancements to physical objects around us – like buildings or human faces.

Facebook Augmented Reality will work by aggregating these tools – the cameras within FB apps will allow users to create AR “experiences” – and they will seem quite familiar once you see them. AR is not rare – we’ve all seen it in one form or the other – quite possibly most recently in the form of Pokemon Go.

Now, we all know that Pokemon Go was a huge driver in bringing AR to the mainstream – even if it was little more than a temporary fad for most. You’ve also undoubtedly heard us go on about how the popularity of the game was influential in the voluminous cash injection industry players received in 2016. But this could very well be, to quote Led Zeppelin, when the levee’s gonna break.

 

Where might you have seen AR in action?

Some use cases we’ve found interesting

 

So how does it all work exactly? (A splash of technical jargon)

This vision comes to life with the incorporation of some technological building blocks;

  • Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) – a technique borrowed from Artificial intelligence – enabling users to integrate digital elements into the reality in front of them
  • 3D effects – capturing and interacting with scenes that you can explore and effects that you can adjust
  • Object recognition – technology that can identify items around you, that can then be targets for the overlay of digital content

 

What about Virtual Reality?

AR and Virtual Reality align quite well, and in that vein, FB is launching a platform called Facebook spaces – where you can interact with people in a virtual environment through the Oculus Rift.

 

Facebook spaces (from F8 2017)

Meanwhile, we’ve been doing our own experiments with the Rift too!

image1 (1)

 

 

Early days in terms of adoption – and the plan for an open platform

Zuck reiterated a key message around AR: It is yet in a rudimentary phase of development – and most of the use cases around us are still evolving too. Don’t expect the world to change overnight.

That being said, in offering an open platform and leveraging the huge universe that lives on FB – users will be able to create AR experiences on their own, and share them online. In doing so, new users will have access to parallel creations by fellow users from around the internet.

This spike in available content will invariably help everyone around us find AR experiences that fit their fancy – especially if this punt from FB is a good one – and at Appearition, we certainly believe Facebook Augmented Reality is going to be something special for all of us.

 

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Staff blog: EMS Data Integration al dente.

It is a rare chance that we can compare the joy of fine cuisine to the rawness and relevance of data in our EMS. How can the culinary art of a top hat restaurant be linked to data integration in the EMS? Well, aside from the fact that it is too close to lunch and I am hungry, the two concepts aren’t too distant from each other.

17.11.2013 ZDJECIA WIZERUNKOWE DLA RESTAURACJI BURGER KITCHEN TOMKA WOZNIAKA , FOT. MARCIN KLABAN

Let’s see… restaurants must cater for their hungry customers. Dumping raw produce on a plate and presenting it to them simply won’t cut it. So, the kitchen must clean and prep the produce, add a combination of sauces, spices and herbs, apply heat and eventually present a meal worthy to the paying customer. Produce arrives from a supplier to the back door and the kitchen will convert that produce into something palatable for the customer at the front of the restaurant.

splunk-logo-2-300x173

Data integration follows the same paradigm. Think of the EMS as the kitchen, data providers as the suppliers and users as the paying customers. So, users make requests to the EMS for information. The EMS requests raw data from various data providers and will aggregate, sort, filter and deliver a result set to the user. Splunk is an example of a data provider, which offers an extensive and powerful service for gathering, collating and filtering vast amounts of raw data. From the user, the EMS can collect information such as their identity and their location, and with that (and more)  the EMS (i.e. kitchen) can craft a tailored query to search that raw data in Splunk (i.e. supplier).  From then, contextually relevant information can be fed back and presented to the user (i.e. paying customer)  in a palatable format.
…mmm saucey data.

Image source: (x) (x)

 

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Shopping in the Age of Augmented Reality

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From make-up tutorials to connected fitting rooms, the retail experience is evolving rapidly.

Shopping in the age of augmented reality has become very different. Until recently, the experience of shopping for clothes had not changed for generations: You show up at a store, you pick the clothes you want to try on, you make several trips to the fitting room, and then you lug all the chosen pieces to the cashier. Shopping for cosmetics, meanwhile, had a tendency to be a pursuit based on trial and error. With more people choosing to do their shopping online, however, retailers have had to rethink the experience of shopping at their brick and mortar stores. Their answer? New technology including augmented reality.

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What is AR?
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Burberry on Regent Street

With the opening of their flagship store on Regent Street, London, in 2012, Burberry added a number of innovations one would not tend to associate with a now 160-year- old brand. While retaining the timeless charms of the 1820 building that houses it, Burberry created an immersive environment – complete with changing “weather” – for its clientele using 100 screens and 500 speakers. With RFID chips woven into selected items, customers are able to access relevant product information with ease on fitting room mirrors that double up as screens. These screens also show runway footage featuring the chosen items and are capable of streaming live content
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Rebecca Minkoff Connected Store

Opened in 2014, the Rebecca Minkoff Connected Store expanded on the fitting room experience, providing customers with a wide array of brand content related to their personal preferences, giving them stylist tips and allowing them to book one-on- one stylist sessions with touch-screen mirrors. Customers are also able to change lighting settings – from “Default Average” to “Brooklyn Morning” and “SoHo after Dark” – and with the help of RFID chips, customers can call for items in different colours or sizes without having to leave the room.

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Tommy Hilfiger VR runway

Further integrating the everyday shopping experience with the glamour of runway shows, Tommy Hilfiger added Samsung GearVR headsets to its arsenal in October 2015. These headsets immersed customers in a 360-degree video filmed from a prime location right next to the runway at the Park Avenue Armory in New York.

[/av_textblock] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”] [av_heading heading=’Related Post’ tag=’h4′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#0078c8′] AR/VR/MR What’s the difference?
[/av_heading] [av_heading heading=’Related Article’ tag=’h4′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#0078c8′] Hands-On With Tommy Hilfiger’s In-Store Virtual Reality Catwalk Experience
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Sephora “Beauty Board”

Moving from fashion to cosmetics, Sephora launched a new retail model at its store in San Francisco which opened in November 2015. Drawing inspiration from YouTube make-up tutorials, Sephora’s “Beauty Workshop” gives customers (up to 12 at one go) the opportunity to follow tutorial videos using the actual cosmetics featured in them, with Sephora staff on hand to provide expert tips. On the digital “Beauty Board” at each station in the workshop area, customers can search for products based on their skin tone and hair texture.
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At Appearition, our goal for the retail industry is simple – tailored solutions that maximise ROI and deliver sustainable stakeholder value. We employ a partnership model driven by by principles in change management to ensure the complex mesh created by our solutions makes sense for our clients. Contact us to find out more.

Source: Vogue UK, NY times

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Staff blog: Silicon (something)

In the tech-world, there is little one can do to avoid constant references to Silicon Valley. My initial research provided little insight, so I turned to a colleague in pursuit of clarity. In typical tech-marketing fashion, he spared no word or phrase, providing me with a detailed insight into his understanding of the term.

Still seeking more understanding, I put the task to Great Aunt Google. My initial research provided the following – SV is in California – geographically this posed a significant challenge, considering I was at my desk in Australia. I began exploring terms that I had come across, “Sending winners of an entrepreneurship competition to SV” (I have recently been volunteering in managing this event) and the incessant #hashtags that circled this term within the twitter-sphere, and discovered that SV is/was in fact the beating heart of this industry.

SV is located in Santa blog-silicon-imgClara Valley and the city of San Jose. The “Valley” refers to the Santa Clara Valley and the word “Silicon” referred to the numerous innovators and manufacturers of silicon chips in the area. The term was introduced in 1971 by a reporter who started a column entitled “Silicon Valley in the USA”. Through the 80s, the term caught like wildfire and became the norm it is today.

Some tech giants in Silicon Valley include Netflix, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Tesla Motors, Adobe Systems, San Disk, Intel, Apple Inc., eBay, Cisco Systems, Google, Facebook, Visa Inc. and much more.

As I journeyed further through, I looked around at my colleagues and wondered what it meant to be be in SV, and conversely, being not being in the Valley for a tech start up like ours. Were there opportunities we could be missing as our USA office is in Portland, Oregon and not the valley itself. Exploring the initiatives we have launched in the past year, I came across some facts that connected us to the valley by association. Appearition is a member of AREA – the Augmented Reality Enterprise Association – an industry body led by thought leaders who are paving the way for this industry to grow in coming years, headquartered in Santa Clara. We were also sponsors and presented at the Augmented World Expo 2016 – hosted in Santa Clara.

As for a physical presence, Appearition may not be in Silicon Valley, but we are certainly in the vicinity. Further research revealed Portland to have a moniker of its own – the “Silicon Forest” – another leading hotspot of tech development and related industry activity. The term Silicon Forest was first used in a Japanese company’s press release in 1981, although Lattice Semiconductor trademarked the term in 1984 and are often accredited with establishing the term. This area is more known for companies that focus on hardware, computer chips, electronic displays and printers.

Companies in Silicon Forest include Airbnb, Macafee, Mozilla, Nike, SurveyMonkey, Xerox, Yahoo and many more.

This co-existence of multiple silicon localities is apparently merely the tip of the ice-berg, as I discovered a number of other pockets globally who had their own term for aggregations of tech companies and innovation. To name a few;

  • Singapore (Asia’s Silicon Valley) – Because of its popular location to set up an international business
  • Bangalore (India) – Often referred as “Silicon Plateau” (At Appearition India, we have two offices, including Chennai, also in the South of India and just off said plateau)
  • Cambridge (England) – referred as “Silicon Fen” and sometimes “Cambridge Cluster”
  • Dublin (Ireland) – This location is increasingly becoming the “Europe’s Silicon Valley” and also sometimes called “Silicon docks”
  • Berlin – in early 2000s Berlin earned being the location for start-up companies
  • Zhongguancun (China) – Known as “China’s Silicon Valley” located in Haidian District, Beijing

Thinking back to my home in Greenland, I would guess the capital Nuuk would be best primed to have our own silicon (something). While advanced technology is still on its way to Greenland, the speed of westernization is rapidly increasing back home and I don’t think we are a long way away from companies realising the opportunity in Greenland. Click here to learn more about Greenland’s technology story line from one of our previous blog entries.

 

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Staff blog: Entrepreneurial energy – the significance of a pit-stop at Stanford.

The energy of an entrepreneur in pursuit of a vision, harnessed, could potentially power a household for a week. In life, it’s not uncommon for one to face a dip in motivation, gusto or focus – and as I learned recently in my experience at Stanford, there is little as revitalizing as sitting in the midst of a room full of hungry entrepreneurs (budding and successful, alike).

blog-entrepreneur-imgThe atmosphere was electric – charged with a burst of energy I soon came to realise must be common-place for students at this historic institution. Notably, there was little whinging, no challenge seemed difficult and no task menial in group discussions. Common fact as it may be, the lecturer reminded us of the 1% chance of start-ups succeeding and the even smaller chance of attaining VC funding. The class gleaned over his words as a challenge to be overcome, rather than a reason to back down.

Almost like a veteran’s ball, students exchanged war stories ranging from soaring close to the sun and having strategic discussions with the likes of Google, to stories of struggle and the pain of failure. The emotion is very real here, as these lucid tales of incredible inspiration are sandwiched with equally detailed sagas of administrative challenges – such as printing and photocopying in colour on a budget. Such is the aura of true entrepreneurial spirit!

In this world – introductions go beyond where one grew up and awkward confessions of obscure hobbies – instead, every introduction is a snap at an elevator pitch, a practise outing before the big game. If there’s one thing entrepreneurs are innately aware of – it’s that every conversation and every moment, is the opportunity to get feedback and test the viability of an idea.

introductions become passionate pitches and conversations become networking. Interestingly, everyone had a story that took the listener somewhere – and 99% of the time it was not a pursuit of dollar bills. Money was not motivating these entrepreneurs; finance was more of the means to an end. The end game almost always is making their dreams come true by solving a problem they set out to solve!

Everyone in that room talked about connecting with people, the more dialogues they had the more they learned. No one spoke about the long hours it takes to have these dialogues the impact it has sometimes on their morale – to them it was simply again an avenue of discovery – another opportunity to learn and think in an exciting new way! Each and every conversation was important to them, regardless the product or industry their conversation partner was engaged in. The conversations were true in every sense as they really listened and asked questions to learn, not just to respond.

It didn’t matter what your idea or product is, the atmosphere here at Stanford is one of encouragement and belief in pursuit of a dream. Everyone suggests ways to think through challenges, and builds a support network that empowers you to be positive in whatever you choose to do. This was a revelation to me, away from the stories of cut-throat entrepreneurship that swirl around Silicon Valley as we, as a cohort, came together to learn, not just about funding strategies, but about each other as well – from crunching numbers, to crunching mindsets.

 

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Change management

Change is constant. With innovations in technology, changes in markets and methodologies, the corporate landscape is constantly evolving. It only makes sense that business adapt to these changes or get left behind.

Indeed, the business that adapt the quickest often carve out a competitive edge for themselves, while the ones mired in the inertia of the old ways, languish behind.

As Prof. Rosabeth M. Kanter of Harvard Business School noted, successful companies have “a culture that just keeps moving all the time”. Change is often arduous and beset by uncertainties and fear. It’s human nature to relish stability. Especially the sort of stability that saw a business through years of profit and efficiency. Why rock the boat when there’s been nothing but smooth sailing?

Of course the reality is, the tides have turned. The same stability that was once an asset is now a liability. Herein lies a fundamental component of change management – convincing employees (from senior executives all the way down) that change is necessary.blog-change-img

When it comes down to it, businesses don’t change, people do. There are many different change management implementation frameworks but in a nutshell, the following needs to take place.

The first step is a reality check; a brutally honest look at what needs to change, as well as communicating this to all levels of the organization. Because change needs to occur at the lowest individual level, all the way up.

Then comes implementation. This involves communicating, very clearly and to all levels of the organization, the overarching vision of the change. This is to ensure that there is no disconnect between the expectations of the employees and the anticipated change. If employees do not agree or fully grasp the logic behind the change, then there will be real problems in implementing such a change.

It is imperative that the change is owned by everyone, from the CEO and senior executives, all the way down the rung of the corporate ladder. Change is not something to be delegated, like project management. It is a process that everyone needs to embrace for it to be successful.

For example, in 2004 when Shell implemented Downstream­One, it was abundantly clear that the change programme started and ended with its new group chairman.

Moreover, this example illustrates another necessary aspect of successful change management: the importance of good leadership, not to command that change just happens, but like all good leaders, to lead by example.

Embracing change will also put leaders in a unique position to empathize with employee concerns and provide the necessary support during the implementation process.

Of course there are other aspects that must be taken into consideration. Change management is not a one size fits all approach. A change management program must take into consideration the unique idiosyncrasies of a particular organization, adjusting the program to work with their particular strengths and weaknesses.

There must also be a clear road map to success, one that takes into account a realistic time frame and that also celebrates small wins on the road to change.blog-change-img1

In many ways, change management is similar to a person ditching unhelpful old habits and replacing them with new, healthier ones, obviously on a much larger and more complicated scale. However, it is prescient to note the analogy as organizational change management often encounters similar obstacles to success.

Time, communication and measured changes, as well as ownership of change from all levels, is crucial to the goal of true change.

 

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Innovation and Augmented Reality

Innovation and Augmented Reality is driven by creativity and fed by knowledge. Without taking risks and altering routines, we stick only to what we know, stagnate as a result. Creativity is founded in inspiration and expresses what we have learned. If to learn is through making mistakes, it is important to let go of the fear of failing and have an open mind. And who knows, an accidents can lead to discovery, like when the founder of Kellogg’s left his wheat sitting out and found them flaky and crunchy – giving us Kellogg’s corn flakes!

Here’s how I see innovation: Whether in business organizations or rebuilding relationships with family or friends. When I came across a problem or something that could be done better, that is innovation coming alive. My process begins with brainstorming as many ideas I can think of. Secondly, I plan the idea and how I could go about implementing it. Finally, action – and testing it out to see if it works. If it doesn’t work, always remember to try the other ideas! It might sound simple, but that’s one of the ways to do it. With the help of great World Wide Web, the information out there are limitless, in my opinion.

blog-creativity-img1

 

The biggest tool in innovation today is the internet. Innovation projects are booming more and more these years. Personally, I get more messages through online apps than regular SMS, for instance through Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or Snapchat. Of these, Snapchat is probably the social media platform that promotes augmented reality faster than any other social media platforms. The app uses filters that transform faces to animal ears or scary faces and it is becoming one of the most popular use with youngsters. One other thing that is popular these days, is the Pokemon Go game. Pokemon is a Japanese game where players have to catch Pokemon creatures and teach them to battle. The game was popular in the beginning of 2000 and played using physical cards. The Pokemon Company released a modernized Pokemon game on a smart phone, and called it Pokemon Go. The game is located based augmented reality mobile game. Within three days after being released it was the most downloaded app in the US.

Augmented reality was first mentioned in 1901 by the author who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He had an idea of an electronic display that overlays data onto life, naming it ‘character marker’. But the term Augmented Reality was attributed first time in 1990 by a former Boeing researcher Thomas P. Caudell. Today, augmented reality is being more used in exhibitions, galleries or a simple guide through a city by using an app on your smartphone. And of course in games and social media too!

 

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Staff blog: AR for people with mental challenges and disabilities

Children make up the largest proportion of the population with intellectual disability, with around one-quarter being under the age of 15 years (ABS). Around the world people with other disabilities may include up to 18% of the population (US Census). The recognition that our community needs to integrate everyone, providing opportunities and resources to include everyone in worthwhile pursuits, has forced governments to create legislation to ban biased practices that reduce opportunities for the disabled. In some cases attempts to improve access to resources that create a path to life long learning have also been framed in law (Australian Disability Discrimination Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Equality Act 2010 and the United Nations (UN) Convention on disability rights).

blog-disabilities-imgTechnology has also advanced to the point that tools are being created to provide significant assistance with people with disabilities in areas including cognitive development; social learning and communication; physical rehabilitation and spatial/localization recognition (to list a few achievements). Exciting applications have already been implemented with greater success that was anticipated. Children with autism have happily engaged with play and social learning activities utilizing various AR applications that promote healthy social interaction (International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality Conference 2012 and 2013). International studies have reported increased participant motivation, enjoyment, perceived improvement and exercise compliance leading to enhanced physical ability following the inclusion of AR and VR tools into stroke rehabilitation (Industrial research, New Zealand). Visually impaired people can look forward to using software which tracks objects and captures depth to provide auditory and haptic cues that describe a new environment (Google Project Tango). Potential workers with an intellectual disability can gain access to AR tools that engage with their environment to provide training, learning re-enforcement, and other work related information to ensure safe and efficient work practices (Spain, Augmented Reality for e-labora project).

The era of AR/Virtual Reality and AI supported systems and applications is here. Its initial usage might have been heralded mainly by AR/VR games, but the realization of a universe of possibilities now extends to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. We have the impetus now to continue to develop systems that will greatly impact on people’s lives for the better. We must embrace the challenge with the excitement and enthusiasm it deserves.

 

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