Demonstration of GE’s Plug into the Smart Grid.
Now, viewed through your screen,
the virtual object appears to be magically mapped onto the real world.
Wherever the marker is placed—
whether in your hand or on your forehead—the object now appears. You
move, it moves.
Many AR objects also provide additional information when you move
them in front of your webcam. For
example, 17th century “Cabinet of
Wonders” on the Getty site allows you
to open its drawers and view it from
While AR web content like the
Getty’s can be stunning, the best tool
for bringing AR into the classroom in
a way that empowers kids is the versatile AR authoring tool Zooburst (see
Explore the Getty Museum’s 17th Century Cabinet of Curiosities AR display.
L&L, May 2011, “Create Your Own
Pop-Up,” page 35). It’s a simple and
intuitive digital-storytelling tool for
creating AR-viewable pop-up books.
Students drag and drop elements into
stories. Primary students can create
narratives from scratch or bring in
digital creations from other applications, such as Kid Pix. Characters can
link to additional text or sound in the
In addition to storytelling, older students can use Zooburst to create digital
portfolios of creative work using Photo-shop, Comic Life, and other programs
and embed them on a website. Each
book also includes a discussion forum.
Those without a webcam can see a
Zooburst creation as a digital pop-up
storybook. Those with a webcam,
though, get the application’s full magic:
Place a printed Zooburst marker
anywhere in your physical environ-
ment, point the webcam at it, and the
AR pop-up book magically appears.
One mode also allows basic gestural
interface for turning pages. The site
even lets students take and send snap-
shots interacting with the books. The
premium Zooburst adds teacher man-
agement tools, such as the ability to
create student accounts and a private
environment for students’ responses
to each others’ work. Zooburst has no
peers. Other AR authoring tools exist,
but none that are intended for nonpro-
grammers. Zooburst is a powerful way
for students to experience augmented