Figure 1. The Sword of Damocles was built in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland.
In the last three years I have worked at various levels with augmented reality. In my job as a DKC tutor, I help classes create auras. For the majority of this work I am troubleshooting issues and not actually creating the auras myself. Even though I work with augmented reality, I did not have a clear definition of what augmented reality is. So before I began this assignment, I researched what augmented reality meant. The clearest definition of what augmented reality comes from Forbes, which says that augmented reality is when a user sees and interacts with the real world while digital media is added into the experience.
With this definition in mind, I began looking at augmented reality’s history. I was fascinated to learn in the Harvard Business Review that augmented reality was created in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland. The technology exploded with universities, aviation, and the military. Before reading this article, I did not know that augmented reality was an older technology. Augmented reality is very popular today with its various uses including advertising, product testing, and tourism. Learning that augmented reality was multipurpose really opened my eyes to a world of possibilities.
After learning about augmented reality’s exciting past, I decided to build an Aura on HP Reveal, which is an augmented reality software. The process was quiet elaborate for creating this Aura. I began by having to think about what I wanted my Aura to be about. The idea for this project came to me while I was reading Kris Shaffer’s Digital Minimalism ― Being Deliberate about Digital Identity. In this article Kris Shaffer states that we should post content that adds value to our digital identity in a minimalistic fashion. This concept aligns with my digital identity project as this was a conscious decision to provide more information on myself. Like Kris Shaffer suggested, I carefully and minimalistically decided that the subject of my Aura should be me. After I had my vision established, I created my trigger image with questions I came up with. I used Canva to make a simple sheet with abundant space to place overlays. I then went to the Advanced Media Production Studio and used the green screen to record myself. Afterwards, I decreased the quality of the footage to 540 dpi in iMovie. I then went into Final Cut Pro to make all of the clips transparent. With my video editing complete, I used Photoshop and Canva to create more overlays for my Aura. I then went to HP Reveal Studio to connect my trigger and overlays together with actions.
This project helped me actually learn the process of creating an Aura first hand. Furthermore, I learned the value of multiple overlays to increase the interactivity and “augmented” element of my project. These two lessons will be incorporated into my digital identity as I think that HP Reveal will be an off-the-wall way I show who I am as a person. We usually think of social media defining our digital identity, but I think I will use HP Reveal as a new outlet to create my digital identity. I will continue practicing with HP Reveal, especially my transparency and overlaying skills. Learning how to make videos transparent was a benefit to me and I can definitely apply this skill to future videos I edit.
Figure 2. British National Health Service Augmented Reality Campaign
On the other hand, I think that my project and the things I learned are insignificant. I think that what matters is the value that augmented reality has as a tool. In Christina Crawley’s article entitled “Augmented Reality For Good,” she states that augmented reality is important for charity work. Crawley cites the example in which the British National Health Service had an augmented reality campaign that showed a patient looking better after receiving a virtual blood transfusion. The intractability and lifelike experience augmented reality provides make it matter in today’s media. We are constantly passively reading and watching content. Augmented reality raises the stakes and gives content an interactibality that no other platform can do as well. Overall, I think that augmented reality will change society, especially in terms of increasing our empathy as we will be able to interact with heartbreaking media in a way that is unfounded in today’s society.
Crawley, Christina. “Augmented Reality For Good.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 18 Apr. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2018/04/17/augmented-reality-for-good/#61a7aac9ad1b.
Javornik, Ana. “The Mainstreaming of Augmented Reality: A Brief History.” Harvard Business Review, 4 Oct. 2016, hbr.org/2016/10/the-mainstreaming-of-augmented-reality-a-brief-history.
Shaffer, Kris. “Digital Minimalism ― Being Deliberate about Digital Identity.” Medium, Medium, 30 Dec. 2016, medium.com/@krisshaffer/digital-minimalism-being-deliberate-about-digital-identity-418baf0fd537.
“The Difference Between Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality And Mixed Reality.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 2 Feb. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/02/02/the-difference-between-virtual-reality-augmented-reality-and-mixed-reality/#430a779b2d07.