Putting the AR in Art

I was talking with one of our Tech Teachers and she started telling me about a Senior project that was done in an Interactive Media class at TCNJ. The student used an Augmented Reality app to create infographics. She hung various pieces of art on the wall and when you scanned the art, information about the artists to the style of art or the time period the art was completed appeared in an infographic style design. The concept was in the back of my brain all night and this morning I had an epiphany. What if we brought AR to the Art Show?

Here’s the dilemma: Students work all year in their Art classes, but due to the limited space can only put in a few pieces. And, what do we do with students who have created multi-media Art pieces? I did a quick Google search about very basic programs for creating AR displays and I stumbled across an app called Zappar. The website said I can use the program as a 30 day free trial, allows for both video and image display, and had 3 ability levels available for me so I jumped on board.

A quick step back. For those of your not familiar, AR is similar in idea to a QR code. An app on your phone uses the camera to scan a unique image. That image then displays specific content on your screen. While QR codes can only link to 1 thing and it has to be web based, AR allows for interactive media such as photo albums, videos, and can even sense the direction of the phone so the program can interact with your environment.

Our AP Studio Art students are in the middle of photographing their work for their AP online portfolios so I created a Team Drive in Google Drive and dumped a pair of students’ pictures in there to play with. The website was extremely simple. I uploaded a few photos that the student will use in the Art Show and then a bunch more that will appear in just the photo album in AR. Since she happens to follow me on Instagram as well, I copied a link to her Instagram account as well. The code on the left will be printed and put on her display for people to scan. The image on the right is what attendees will see on their device.

Feel free to download the Zappar app to see what how it works.

Naturally, I couldn’t just do the AP students so I spent the rest of this morning building content and running to each of the teachers involved to explain my idea. We will have various levels of traditional Art students (from Autistic classes to Advanced Placement), Graphics Design students, Photography students, and TV production students. There will be codes created for individuals, teachers, classes, and possibly even style of art. While all attendees will be encouraged to download the app, we will also have iPads at several stations with the app pre-loaded.

Oh, and the best part, as you can see above, the image created is digital. Now we can post this to our website and anyone, no matter where they are, can view our ARt portfolios.


1 thought on “Putting the AR in Art

  1. Pingback: My Well of Creativity | A Flipped Approach

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