Augmented Reality may not have been known to our world for too long, but the rise in its use and the impact it has had on all disciplines of life have been fascinating to watch.
College students, who may very well be the most energetic creatures on Earth have been watching closely the progress of AR and it was only a matter of time before they decided to get their hands on AR and create some magical AR student projects.
At Augmania, we’ve been researching AR for years. We would like to celebrate college students who devoted their diligent efforts to creating special projects using AR. Some of the projects are super exciting hints at what the future holds, while others we’re sure will serve as an inspiration to fellow content creators reading right now. So here goes:
1- Guiding Astronauts through Spacewalks
Earlier this year, NASA invited students from many universities to apply to its S.U.I.T.S Design Challenge program in which students would design and create space suit information displays within an AR environment. A team of different majors from Bradley University and MIT among other universities was ultimately selected to take the lead. The undergraduates said they couldn’t believe it when NASA asked for their help in developing the AR project.
But that didn’t overwhelm them or stop them from innovating throughout the project. Working on Microsoft’s HoloLens and using input from NASA astronauts, the students came up with many impressive features for the suit. One of them allows astronauts to read instructions and view important diagrams through their facemasks. And if astronauts needed a clear view, an AI assistant could provide them with all the information they need. The astronaut will eventually use The AR program to facilitate communication between them and the ground control as they take spacewalks.
2- Creating An AR Film
Stanford students, Max Korman, and Khoi Lee, had been observing the proven positive effect AR had on areas such as education. Nevertheless, they wanted to experiment with the use of AR in a narrative so they decided to create the first-ever short film using AR as a medium: Snowbird.
Snowbird tells the story of a bird stuck in a snow globe with an old ill-tempered snowman. The movie debuted at the Stanford Immersive Media Conference to much praise from attendees. However, anyone who wants to watch it now can simply download the Snowbird app and layer the snow globe over any flat surface to start the viewing experience.
3- Empathizing with High Schoolers
Kiwi is an AR app that makes learning easier for high school students. The School of Visual Arts and Columbia University students recalled how some high schools were lagging behind in terms of tech when they themselves were high schoolers.
They created Kiwi to be a weapon to all bored students. They can use whenever they want to learn in more engaging ways. As students scan their textbooks using Kiwi, they unlock videos and other forms of content that provide extra info. This can make topics more interesting and more fun to learn. The app also allows features such as note-taking and highlighting to encourage sharing among students. The app won the NYC Media Lab Verizon Challenge 2017 in the category of AR/MR.
4- Celebrating History
The Washington College Archives has a rich selection of artifacts from different chapters in the history of USA. Visiting the exhibition is a great opportunity to learn more about the country’s history and remember its past. The problem is with how busy their lives have become today. Some students of The Washington College didn’t find a journey to the Archives too engaging. It didn’t take the people in charge of the Archives long to figure out that solving this problem had to involve new tech. This is why they decided to use AR.
They then left it to a team of students who took it all from there in what they called The Augmented Archives Project. They developed an app that gives users a 3D model of the item scanned. This allows users to interact with it in any way they like. In addition, they added to the experience videos and text to educate them about the history of the item. Other than turning students into history experts, The Augmented Archives Project is also a signal to how students may interact with materials they are researching while working on papers and projects in the future.
5- Bringing Art to Life
In 2017, MIT students Julia Rue, Tara Lee, Jessie Wang, Emma DeSoto, and Iris Fung who used to enjoy doing art before joining college set on to resurrect their passion for art with a series of 200 foot long murals inside tunnels and invited all MIT students to join them in creating the murals; a project they dubbed The Borderline Murals.
The tunnels where the murals were painted had been used before for protection against bad weather. That’s why they were quite useful even if they were bland. The project leaders wanted to change that and make the tunnels a place people anticipate and enjoy going to. To make that happen, they believed that art was not enough so they integrated AR into the project.
Scanning the murals using the BorderlineAR app brought the murals to life. It also unlocked extra content to tell the stories of the murals. Addition of an AR element made the visit to the tunnels a much more engaging experience. This helped the project achieve its goal of increasing the art’s appreciation.