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Augmented Reality Gets Real

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ugmented Reality is among the few new technologies that are changing the way we teach and learn. With the concept of MR (mixed reality) – one that combines virtual and augmented reality – becoming more and more mainstream, the market valuation of AR was estimated to be around $90 million in 2018. But AR is in commercial use since 1990, when aviation companies used this technology to show their pilots different information on their screen. It was also the year that the term “Augmented Reality” was coined for the very first time. Still, it has taken AR almost 45 years and help from games like “Pokemon Go” to really make it a known technology

What is Augmented Reality?

So what is augmented reality? In a nutshell, AR means to superimpose all three major types of information such as texts, images and sounds with the use of technology on the real world. In simple words, it a way to see the real world with virtual objects in order to change the perception of reality. AR adds layers of texts, images and sounds on real world scenes without creating an artificial world and allow its users to expand their physical world by adding computer-generated perceptual information with a privilege of real-time interaction that gives them an advanced perception of the real world. 

Augmented reality is no more a futuristic technology and is infiltrating into people’s lives, as smartphones and tablets users crossed the figure of three billion this year. However, companies around the globe are working to develop more venues rather than tablets and smartphones for AR based apps. Many wearable devices are keep on coming in the market to give AR users perceptually enriched experiences with a natural immersion to replace tablets and smartphones for AR. 

Benefits of AR in Education

With the power to allow its users to put one foot in the physical place, and the other in an imaginary world, AR has an array of benefits when it comes to its use in education. Today 80% of adult students own smartphones and per The Student Pulse Survey from Top Hat, conducted by independent research firm Survata that polled 520 college students, 94% of them use smartphones in class for academic purposes. On the other hand Edtech industry which is growing at a 17% annual rate is a clear sign that the future of traditional learning is definitely uncertain. Many experts believe that AR books and apps will soon alter conventional learning process altogether because of their capability to make information more engaging and apprehend able for students

AR is one of the trends that are leading the edtech industry right now, because of its capacity to counter a large number of hurdles students face during knowledge retention. Another point which shows that the future of education belongs to AR is the ability of this technology to cater to the needs of all levels of schooling, from preschool to post graduation. Here are some core benefits that students instantly get with the use of AR in education. 

 

High level access to learning material:

With AR, access to information can become easy as AR has the ability to blend different types of study materials like textbooks, posters, or manuals etc into one resource. On the other hand it makes information highly portable within bargain basement costs. AR based learning materials contains additional information and students can explore difficult study concepts more deeply

Better Engagement:

AR provides students full immersion of boring study matter and makes it more engaging with visualization. Instead of reading theory students can see the educational concept with their own eyes which not only leave significant positive impact on students but also helps them to absorb difficult concepts. It also keeps them hooked throughout the lecture and shake up boring classes by involving them in the learning process.

Hands On Training:

There are an array of subjects that require hands on training and AR is the best way to serve this need when theoretical knowledge is not enough. AR transforms students from mere listeners and passive observers by providing them an environment to perform a virtual practice in a smarter way. AR trainings not only help students understand a subject better but also empower them to participate in trainings without using special equipment. 

CONCLUSION

Due to its high development costs, very few students have access to it as of now, but edtech companies are investing in AR at an unprecedented rate and according to a recent study done by Statista, the market share of VR industry will grow from $3.5 billion to more than $198 billion in 2025. There are countless ways in which AR can revolutionize the way we teach and learn today. The sky is the limit, however VR can become a starting point from which the exploration of new realms of learning and teaching can be found.