Augmented Reality - The Sandbox of UC-Davis and some brainstorming about the use of AR

The Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox is a tool created by researchers at the University of California, Davis. In this sandbox, “the sand is augmented in real-time with an elevation color map, topographic contour lines, and simulated water” (Augmented Reality Sandbox Website). After exploring some of the possibilities that this tools has to offer for educational purposes, I thought about how this could be used for other purposes and also how, in general, Augmented Reality could be implemented for other purposes.

The AR Sandbox in use at UCLA

It would be nice for this AR Sandbox to be adapted to their location (this would imply personalized programming depending where it is being used) to show which animals can live and which plants can grow based on the natural conditions (e.g. weather, humidity, altitude). This addition could bring even more opportunities to this tool to be implemented and used in different subject matters or courses in schools or higher education institutions.

In a general perspective, AR has a lot of power to enhance students’ learning experience. I believe that using AR to promote cultural awareness might be a great idea (it is being used for those purposes already, but it is not very used when compared with others topics). Combining research about cultural heritage (represented in art, gastronomy, sculptures, museum pieces) and using the findings to enhance and expand information in cultural/historical places can be a great way to expand it. Perhaps doing something similar to the idea of the Museum of Louvre in Paris that uses Nintendo 3DS as a tool to provide audio guide and give more information about every single piece that is present at the museum, but this time adding 3D modeling after scanning some QR codes so it can give a more detailed idea of the information that is being heard/read.


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