Blippar: easy creation of Augmented Reality
I have been experimenting with Blippar, an augmented reality app, to create an interactive conference poster. Visitors to my poster will read about designing a module for blended learning, but they can also ‘Blip’ images within it to access interactive multimedia from the module. This got me thinking about potential uses on campus for students; in labs, tutorials and so on. The good news is that as a simple AR creator tool, it’s user friendly and free for educators.
The following video shows how Blippar makes GCSE textbooks interactive, but this could also apply to Undergraduate texts or lab practical notes. More recent Blippar-produced videos about the technology focus on its new expansion into image-recognition; an ambitious venture into developing a ‘visual wikipedia’. For the purposes of this blog I am focussing on simple AR creation.
So what exactly is a ‘Blip’ and how can you create one?
A ‘Blip’ is composed of a Trigger Image and various multimedia within it. Viewers use the free Blippar app (for Android and IOS) and an internet connection to scan the trigger image, then interact with or simply view the multimedia. Once triggered, a Blip is stored in the app history, meaning that you can access the Blip without having to scan the image again. Blips have been used by large brands such Coca-Cola, Unilever and Jaguar to engage and interact with audiences.
I am a novice when it comes to AR but I found the browser based creation tool simple to use. Although I made my first Blip without it, I later found this helpful tutorial:
I made a very simple Blipp of the Golden Gate bridge using just the Youtube, Pinterest and Website widgets in the creator. Most work very well, but you do need to be logged into Pinterest in order to view that particular content. I find that frustrating and would try an alternative such as Flickr or Instagram next time.
You can try out the Blipp yourself by following these instructions:
Scan this trigger image:
Blippar recommends that the busier, more complex and unique a marker is, the better (for example, photos make great markers). Images with lots of contrast, angles and reference points for the app to recognise also work well.
Why use it?
Augmented Reality (whether in the Library or the Lab) might not provide structured formative assessment for students, but it does provide an engaging and playful element to learning. Students could be completing a practical and using triggers to view industry examples or ‘real world’ applications; reinforcing key concepts or unlocking new understanding of a topic. With a free, simple to use creation tool, it has become easier to trial and experiment with its potential.
Do you have a use for AR in undergraduate teaching?