Thursday, 21 June 2012

To AR or not to AR?

Here is the final video for a Augmented Reality (AR) project I have been working on with a local school, it was good fun, hard work for me having to build 4 game engines, but it was worth it.

I have been a bit ambivalent towards AR as I have often seen it as a imagination destroying prescribed narrative driven product placement entity, I didn't like it. I kept seeing toys that came to life and interacted with other toys in the "product range" to force children down a specific narrative, which usually lead to the purchase of more toys to continue.

When I was a lad I made up my own stories, a Stormtrooper was once a giant city destroyer, destroying the LEGO peoples towns, who then had to take refuge in the giant "Millenium Falcon" city. With several AR toys this type of scenario would be an "incompatible experience".

So AR, I didn't want to be a part of it, until, I learned I could use it so the children I was working with could create their own narratives/games/ interactions. They were now the creators of the story, using technology to tell it, instead of being told it. I like AR like this, well in all fairness I like all technology to be like this.

I am glad I did this project and tackled an area I didn't particularly like the idea of, as we have achieved some great results, now what should we do next?