Friday, December 9, 2016

Keeping Up With... Augmented Reality

Bradford, Josie

Spina, C. (N.D.) Keeping up with…. Augmented reality. Association of College and Research Libraries: A Division of the American Library Association. Retrieved from 

The article Keeping up with… Augmented reality begins by explaining what augmented reality is.  As defined by Oxford English Dictionary “augmented reality is the use of technology which allows the perception of the physical world to be enhanced or modified by computer-generated stimuli perceived with the aid of special equipment.” 

The beginning of this article explores what augmented reality is and what devices, apps and software are being used to make it functional.  Currently there are several items on the market that are becoming popular with augmented reality.  These include Google Glass, Evena Eyes-On Glasses, “which show medical professionals the exact location of patient’s blood vessels,” iOS and Android apps and Ikea’s app which allows customers to “virtually see how furniture will look in their home.”
The article goes on to describe how augmented reality is being used in education as well as in the libraries.  

Some of the possibilities for use in education include, interactive content in textbooks, ways of exploring the real world in combination with virtual information to explore subjects such as environmental damage, astronomy and medicine.  Potential applications for augmented reality extend to any subject and have a large possibility for use. 

The potential use for augmented reality in libraries includes apps that can scan tagged books and allow library workers to see any books that are out of place.  “Augmented reality can also be used to create engaging patron-facing applications that can bring new patrons in and connect them with information they would not have typically sought out.”  There is also the possibility that libraries can create their own customized augmented reality applications that give patrons tours of the stacks, and other areas of the library in which libraries can connect information with physical locations such as tours. 

Although augmented reality has yet to become mainstream, it is important for libraries to embrace its potential for use since it will become something that is used in most libraries in the next several years.  My library is already starting to use it to scan books and look for items that are out of place.  There is the possibility that in the future a patron can find a book they want to locate on their smartphone, and it will provide them with a map to the book.  Augmented reality isn’t just something that is new and cool, and will phase out in a couple of years, it’s something that is going to become part of the technology we use in our everyday lives, and it is important that libraries are prepared to use it and embrace it’s many possibilities for use.  

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