‘Effective Teaching and Learning in the new and
extended learning environments of the Digital Age’
Augmented Reality and
unlocking a hidden curriculum
on mobile platforms
Steve Rose
University of Exeter
Learning and
Teaching Innovation
Grant 2010-2011
THES ICT Initiative of the
Year Shortlist 2011
New and emerging mobile technologies,
particularly SmartPhones and Tablets, are set
to create a whole new generation of tools to
enhance the learner experience and ‘unlock a
hidden curriculum’
Key features of SmartPhones and
They have built in high quality cameras
They ‘know where they are’ and provide realtime information and interaction with the
user’s world.
New possibilities
Smartphone cameras and ‘locational
awareness’ make them ideal for exploiting the
potential of Augmented Reality
2 approaches..
• Marker-based (‘QR codes, and ‘Magic
• Markerless (using GPS)
QR Code
Image: bmw.mobi
Image: Toyota Motor Corporation
Like QR Codes ‘Magic
symbols’ trigger
information stored as
graphic/video files
which are
‘recognised’ by a
webcam or mobile
phone camera and
replayed as an
Image: magicsymbol.com
Image: layar.com
Markerless AR applications
Layar works by using a combination of a
Smartphone’s camera, GPS, compass, accelerometer
and Internet connection.
The camera sees the world through its lens and
shows it on the viewing screen.
GPS determines the phone’s precise location and the
compass and accelerometer the field of view. A layer
of data stored as digital information is then accessed
over a the Internet and augmented over the camera
view. The combined image comprising graphics
and/or multimedia
Image: layar.com
Images: layar.com
Examples of AR on YouTube
Click on phone to
link to ‘Nearest
Tube’ AR app
Click on phone to
link to ‘GeoTravel’
‘Unlocking the Hidden
‘Unlocking the Hidden Curriculum’
This project is funded by a JISC Learning and
Teaching Innovation Grant (04/08).
The University of Exeter is exploring how
Augmented Reality (AR) might be used to
enable Smartphone users to access the rich
biodiversity of its main campus and enjoy an
interactive, educational experience
The Rich Biodiversity of Exeter’s Streatham
The aims of the project are to..
Display scientific information in a creative and accessible way using
Augmented Reality and mobile devices which enable engaging
interaction between physical and virtual worlds
Use technology as a medium to promote and engage with Education
for Sustainable Development (ESD) and in particular, biodiversity
Introduce students, staff and the wider community to the concept
of a university campus as a ‘living laboratory’ using interactive
AR Layers
Translate data e.g. species diversity,
population dynamics into
graphical/visual/aural information at specific
locations on campus – at its simplest a ‘nature
walk’ or at a more sophisticated level a means
of anchoring dynamic data to actual locations
for fieldwork investigations
This project is just one example of how AR can
facilitate and support discovery-based
learning in the real world.
AR is not ‘virtual reality’ but enables
interaction with real locations, objects and
their significance by providing SmartPhone
and Tablet users with a wealth of locationspecific information
Unlocking a hitherto ‘hidden’ curriculum
Thank You
Please look in on our blog
Get in touch
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Unlocking the Hidden Curriculum: using Augmented