Augmented reality adds new experiences, knowledge at EdPlus

Auryan Ratliff has a fun job! As a multimedia designer on the EdPlus Web Design team, Ratliff gets to make cool stuff. Maybe you’ve seen him running around the office with his iPad pointing it at different objects. What’s he doing?  Ratliff has been working on an augmented reality (AR) tool that will bring a new dimension to the many visitor tours that come through EdPlus on a weekly basis. 

Right now, there are three stations in development where visitors will be able to experience this technology. One of the stops is The New American University poster outside the EdPlus café. When the visitor points the iPad at the poster and focuses on the “enable student success” design aspiration, blurbs about what EdPlus is doing in this area pop up. Other stops include the EdPlus mission and culture poster and the corporate partner signs in the lobby. 

The augmented reality (AR) experience is another tool in the box to make EdPlus come to life while providing conversation starters on the tour. But, Ratliff has even bigger goals! He sees the EdPlus tour as a proving ground for a university-wide experience that displays contextual data for students as they navigate the university. In the not-too-distant future, students could use their mobile device to point at any campus building and using information in their MyASU profile, see intuitive, immediately relevant information. Imagine a new student enrolled for the first time walking on campus looking for books. The student points her phone at the bookstore and suddenly all the books needed for class pop up, along with the availability and even gives her links for where she might find lower cost options, such as Amazon or even renting on Chegg. 

Ratliff thinks of himself as a futurist and envisions AR technology widely available to boost student success in online labs and in the classroom.  Students can visualize and manipulate 3D models like a heart or a brain and do the same thing anywhere through the EdPlus Pitch app.