Anyone who has been following my tweets will know that I have been fascinated by the potential of Augmented Reality. Since I made my first attempt a couple of weeks ago, I have been looking at how to use it and intrigued as to how it can be implemented in the AEC industry. I have decided to try to bring together Architect Map (something which Su Butcher and I created a couple of months ago) and Augmented Reality to see what can be achieved.
The start of a vision….
I would like to think that we are onto something with Architect Map. It still continues to grow (approaching 75,000 views of all the various maps) and is being used around the world by members of our industry to search and connect with peers & colleagues, to begin to develop business opportunities, and even now allows Graduates to connect with professionals in our industry and vice versa through the AEC Graduate Map.
Like many, I am still learning where AR can take us. From my experience, the use of AR for marketing seems to be a bit of a no-brainer, and combining it with Architect Map, which at the moment is all about letting people know where you are and what you do, seems to be a logical progression.
But what use is AR within the Architect Map Portal? Well, take yourself back to your student days. You try to differentiate yourself from the crowd and create a good impression of your capabilities. Typically we do this through CV’s, portfolio’s etc. But has any graduate yet tried to interact with a potential employer personally, through a piece of AR?
How good would it be that simply by searching through the Architect Map, and with your mobile devide to hand, you could have access to another layer of information, just waiting to be connected with.
What about the use of it with potential clients? Aren’t they looking for people in the industry who are a little different, who are up to date with current technologies and innovative?
What about projects, both those being designed and those actually built? Why shouldn’t we be thinking about integrating AR into the design of buildings or linking AR to a building itself? Why shouldn’t we be able to stand on our empty sites, and through geo-tagging in AR be able to walk through the design of your building before a brick has been laid? Here is a great video on the possibilities of this.
All of these things are possible now, but rather than have us all do our own pieces or AR, through our own channels, why shouldn’t we be able to connect and share our great businesses and designs with each other through a single portal?
This is my vision, and so I would like to invite you to take up my challenge.
Taking up the challenge…
If you read my blog post ‘Attempting Augmented Reality’ you may have given AR a try already. Taking this one step further, I put a post on my Twitter and Facebook page, asking for people to step forward and take up the challenge for implementing a piece of AR.
Dave Cornett of Snow Architects has already taken up the challenge and has shown us all what can be done with a good animation and a video camera. He has written a blog piece on his experience here but in essence, Dave has set up a piece of AR which will play when a user holds up a device to his Twitter Avatar. Here is a snapshot of me trying it on Architect Map.
I am looking for more people to come forward to give this a try. It doesn’t have to be flashy or clever, and it is open to everyone, whether you are an individual wanting to tell the world what you do, or whether you are a big practice explaining your services. The key is not the technology itself, the important piece is that we are all sharing and combining this through a single portal or channel, openly accessible to the world.
Want to take part?
If you would like to have some Augmented Reality implemented for yourself or your business, then please follow the steps below:
- Decide on a ‘Trigger’ image. A ‘Trigger’ is the image that the end user will be required to hold a device up to in order to view the AR expereince.
- Decide on a ‘Overlay’. The ‘Overlay’ is the animation or image that the user will see when they hold a device over the ‘Trigger’image.
- If you would like your ‘Overlay’ image to link to something (could be a website, your twitter profile, your blog etc) then please let me know what this is. Only one link is possible per ‘Overlay’ image.
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the items required in steps 1, 2 & 3 and I will build your piece of AR and put it into the Augmented Reality Architect Map channel and plaster it all over Twitter and Facebook.
If you would simply like to view AR created by the Architect Map community, then subscribe to the Architect Map channel by following these steps:
- Install the Aurasma app from the App Store or Android Market.
- Search for the “ArchitectMap” Channel and Subscribe to it, or subscribe to the Architect Map channel using this link.
- As soon as the sharing is complete, hold your device up to one of the experiences listed on the Facebook page.
- You should then see the AR come to life.
I have set up an Augmented Reality tab on the Architect Map Facebook page which is going to be used to list all those members of the community that are taking part in this experiment (you will need to ‘like’ the Facebook page before you can see this). I have also set up a dedicated Architect Map channel in the Aurasma app, and by subscribing to this channel the user will have access to the entire communities AR experiences and content.
As always, any feedback you have is appreciated and always listened to.