How to augment your reality

IMG_0315 - photo by Roberta Smith
Jeff enrols a dinosaur at Redwood!

You probably already augment your reality: a spot of blusher here, a comb-over there – maybe even the odd bit of photoshopping. But now you can really up the ante with a small selection of Augmented Reality library books. I had my introduction to AR at that hub of high technology – Parklands Library.

Here’s how Augmented Reality works: find an Augmented Reality book – I used iDinosaur. Load the app that it recommends onto your tablet. Stand in the library with an attentive audience, focus the tablet onto the book with the app activated. Now release your chosen monster from its crate and with full-on sound effects, manipulate it to climb up a colleague’s leg! Who wouldn’t be awed by a roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex enrolling as a library member at Redwood Library on a Thursday morning?

Cover of Meringue GIrls CookbookFascinating as the ten or so kiddies’ Augmented Reality titles are, I am most drawn to the only cookery book which uses this technology: Meringue Girls by Alex Hoffler. Apparently this is the first cook book to use Augmented Reality and quite frankly the mind boggles. What can it possibly reveal? After all, meringues aren’t extinct yet; they were certainly alive and well at Northlands Mall last week. Will it no longer be enough to multi-task in the kitchen in 2D, instead will I have to chase 3D meringues around as well?

I have no idea about the educational value of Augmented Reality books, but as a far-flung granny, if I could come to be known as Augmented Reality Aeroplane Granny, my mission would be complete!