HdK Associates

Augmented Reality

Like busses, similar new technologies often follow one another at short intervals. This is the case with Augmented Reality or AR and it’s similarity to Virtual Reality.  Like our recent article on VR, we wanted to examine the potential for Augmented Reality in the arts.

Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes computer generated information over a users view of the real world. That information may be images, data or text. You’ll need special eye ware  or a mobile app using your camera phone to see the composite view or “augmented reality”.  You may have come across it at a place with a panoramic view where information about the nearby buildings are explained.

AR technology is still evolving and people are just beginning to figure out how to apply this technology to what they do, as discussed in Hans’ blog, where he wrote about the different phases a technology goes through before universal acceptance.

Even though this technology is still relatively new, people have been making a lot of exciting products using AR. A few years back, performance artist Adam H. Weinert  had his work refused by The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Many people may have accepted this and moved on. Instead, Weinert was rather more persistent. He decided to develop his Dance-Tech Augmented Reality App which enabled people to look through their phone and see ghostly dancers move through the space. His work challenged what belongs and what doesn’t belong in the museum.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is another company which has taken the plunge and started exploring how the use of AR can encourage a younger generation to enjoy the theatre. They have worked in collaboration with Intel to develop a motion-capture suit (see photo above) which allows the actor wearing it to become a flying creator and bring a completely new dimension to the play.

The technology still has many years of development ahead before reaching the plateau of productivity. It will be incredibly interesting to see how this technology is going to be applied in the future.