On the road to AR

Great blog post here from Dan Slee thinking about AR in the world of Local Authority (LA) Communications, PR and the news room. I too have been inspired by the humble Nintendo DS in the past so it’s interesting to see what kicked off this train of though.

As an ex-local authority man myself (as well as being from the Midlands – i’ve since wandered far from home…) I find his enthusiasm for introducing this kind of tech at into the LA arena really exciting. Given issues with accessibility it makes so much sense for LAs to be leading in this stuff but so often it’s the complete opposite. So, a blog worth following.

Below I’ve reproduced my own comments that I left on his blog:

“This is great… I wish you had been the head of the PR/Design team that I used to work for – we could be doing great things..!

…but how quickly this stuff is adopted comes down to convenience – as you said, how long before you dad will find it useful.

However, right now I think there is some middle ground to be explored so that we’re ready with great ideas when the AR tech really takes off…

It would be great to think that our mobiles would ‘ping’ into life whenever we wandered near to some virtual content, and no doubt eventually it’ll come without the need for an AR app like Aurasma… However, I’ve found that for many users it’s equally as exciting to find a ‘key’ hidden in plain sight that ‘they’ can unlock, investigate and hopefully contribute to.

Below there’s a link to a project I completed earlier this years with a class of 6/7 year olds at our local primary.

Together we created a permanent QR Code trail around our village. Without any problem what-soever these kids ‘got it!’ They were thrilled by the inherent anticipation of searching out and accessing these mystery boxes (QR Codes to those challenged by imagination ;)).

But what was behind these codes that excited them so much?

Vouchers for free crisps and sweets?
The latest Merlin or Dr Who?
A school trip to Legoland?

It could have been any or al of these things (given the budget) but actually the trail was all about Local History actually… and they were lapping it up! Largely because they were the journalists, they were the content makers, they ‘owned’ the trail!

It’s simple, it’s engaging and it works. Not necessarily three words associated with tech these days.

And it’s not just for kids… i’ve done similar non-permanent games and trails with Environmental groups, education conferences, PHD summer schools and an art festival.

   St Andrews Space Hop   treehouse qr scan

These trails (I call them “QR Safaris”) are not quite AR but they are pointing in the right direction. It’s not about the tech (I could easily remove the QRs in a few years and replace with RFID or GPS – even Microsoft tags :| ) The point is that the ideas remain the same.

For more on our QR Safari leap into the future and please visit: http://bit.ly/balmullo

Thanks”

QR Code Scan Guide

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