AR in Digital Publishing- Featured

Possibilities of Augmented Reality in Digital Publishing

Ashu Bhatnagar November 22, 2018
Pokemon Go can arguably be considered the first augmented reality (AR) experience we have had via mobile phones. It is real, more experiential and generates real-life responses. Publishers have been led to wonder if AR can be used to enhance the knowledge and experience at any stage of learning. Technology is being superimposed on the physical world resulting in experiences that add creativity and learning. A recent World Economic Forum report listed creativity as one of the top skills needed for workers to thrive by 2020. This is more relevant for publishers are they need new and engaging content all the time. Take the example of the 3D and AR gun app Real Strike where gamers are able to visualize real-life scenarios. AR is also being used in corporate training as well as higher education. Digital books have become a suitable replacement as they enhance the learning experience and make it more interactive. Publishers are experimenting by using AR to enhance visual experiences. Unlike the trouble with earlier models of education technology where passive learning was an inevitable outcome, AR completely changes the way users interact with the content and let the user interact with real-world objects. Take the example of the classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been converted into an AR-driven app that allows children to see the creature amidst their things and into their world. It uses AR to show children how the caterpillar moves and grows, winds his way through the wild and transforms into a beautiful butterfly. Making this shift has become easier because of the development of technology-independent applications that support real-time AR capabilities. Hence, apps are now available and compatible with various devices and operating systems. The ready availability of AR-ready devices with more people is another reason why publishers want to shift to this new and exciting technology. The challenge is developing content faster and better. How are publishers using AR? Pop-up books with bright images and a surprise element made for a great learning experience. Publishers today are adding life to the pages of books by adding interactive experiences with the help of AR and VR (virtual reality). Embedding AR experiences into learning content helps publishers enhance the level of engagement and incentive available to readers. In fact, there are limitless possibilities of AR in publishing. Use of mobile and interactive devices is on the rise at the school as well as corporate level. This makes AR in publishing useful at all levels. Coloring books are already using AR where students can draw or download the coloring apps and use them to create 3D animation. Smartphone and tablet users are on the rise. This necessitates publishers to invest in publishing books that support the AR environment. This has become a lot easier because of the availability to platform-independent software. For instance, Magic EdTech has helped publishers create AR learning games that respond to the real world. These games help users to track objects and allow learners to engage in imaginative ways. The availability of 3D AR tools adds to our ability to create 3D models that reflect the real world. There are numerous benefits of AR in publishing:
  • Enhances engagement
  • Makes it interactive
  • Encourages lateral thinking
  • Increases learner retention
  • Makes it easier to reach more learners
  • Use of graphics and AR is helping publishers to create content that enhances the overall experience for learners, which is not possible with print. The visual effects possible with AR-based learning helps to create augmented graphics, which results in people reading and learning more. These engagements were never possible with physical textbooks. Putting up content online straight off the books also has not worked. Magic EdTech’s mobility solutions in AR Our mobility solutions in AR, ready-to-use architecture, and reusable libraries can enable publishers to create unique learning experiences. This helps us to create immersive and exciting content, interactive tools as well as unique forms of content to enhance the publishing experience. Creating the right products with AR is a priority for leading publishers. It’s time to make the most of this exciting technology to create technology-driven products in publishing. Have you experimented with AR in your publishing efforts yet? Is this something you would like to try? Tell us in the comments below!

    Ashu Bhatnagar

    Head of Delivery at Magic Software, is engaged in building exciting new content and technology solutions for education.