Obviously, the uses for augmented reality (AR) are as unlimited as reality itself thanks to its ability to bend the rules of what should (or shouldn’t) be possible. Futuristic ideas like adding floating “press this button” instructions that seem to levitate or walking directions that seem to be drawn on the sidewalk, always a few steps ahead of you.
More recently, there have been great examples of the advancing adoption of augmented reality into the common experience.
At a recent event in New York City, we were introduced to Storied Myth, an eBook app for children between 6 and 12 years of age that utilizes augmented reality to engage the reader, not just with audio and video to accompany the story, but to bring physical objects and gameplay into the experience.
At pivotal points in the storyline, the reader is called on to participate in solving a puzzle using real-world tools–these pieces are sent to the reader via USPS on a regular basis based on a monthly subscription. We might have had a problem with having to pay a monthly fee just to complete these puzzles and continue the story, but the pieces are beautifully crafted wooden toys (including a tangram set).
One example from Storied Myth that we got to try for ourselves was a simple pattern reproduction, using the small arrows included in the first mailing–once we mimicked the pattern shown to us, we focused the iPad’s camera on our attempt and were rewarded with the unlocking of a mysterious passageway. Another example is from a postcard that is received blank, other than a simple QR code… the Storied Myth app recognizes it and brings it to life, filling in the postcard on-screen.
We shared Storied Myth with our favorite kid reviewers at RethinkToys and they were not only intrigued, but immediately understood the concept of “combined reality” and embraced it without hesitation.
The Storied Myth app is free (currently only on iOS, but an Android version is being considered), and the first set of pieces needed for augmented reality will be sent to you via USPS once you register on www.storiedmyth.com.
Apps like Storied Myth are not groundbreaking examples of technology, but they do provide what may be the most likely avenue for the adoption of augmented reality. Not because of what they do, but because they prove just how simple and effective AR can be.