Task: Write a report explaining in detail about:
Augmented Reality and its application in various fields.
Augmented Reality, also known as AR is the amalgamation of the digital information and the user’s environment in real time. The existing environment is used by AR to overlay it with fresh information. XYZ University (XYZU) is an organization that is a large educational institute and it has its campuses in five different locations as Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney. The main campus of the organization is located in Canberra. The institute provides undergraduate and postgraduate courses to the students in all the disciplines. The report explores the augmented reality assignment and its meaning along with its relevance to the field of education.
The use of technology has become essential for every industry and business organization. The business enterprises are looking to incorporate and reflect innovation in all the business operations and processes that they carry out. It is necessary that the latest technology is used by the business organizations to have a competitive edge in the market. Pro-active research, analysis, and development are needed to maintain the pace with the changing nature of technology. XYZ University (XYZU) is an organization that is a large educational institute and it has its campuses in five different locations as Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney. The main campus of the organization is located in Canberra. The institute provides undergraduate and postgraduate courses to the students in all the disciplines.
1.1. Problem Statement
The organization is now looking to increase the student enrolment count as the same has come down in the past few years. The teaching methods are one of the problem areas that need to be improved upon and the same can be done with the incorporation of the cutting-edge technology. The management has identified augmented reality assignment in their institution as one of the primary areas that may be explored.
1.2. Aim of the Report
The report aims to explore the scope of AR for XYZU and brings out the application areas, positive and negative aspects, and the recommendations that may be utilized. The report explores the meaning and applications of Augmented Reality (AR) and discusses its relevance to the field of education.
2. Augmented Reality – Definition & Up-to-Date Developments
Augmented Reality, also known as AR is the amalgamation of the digital information and the user’s environment in real time. The existing environment is used by AR to overlay it with fresh information (Devereaux, 2017). There is use of multiple sensory modalities, such as visual, speech, auditory, haptic, etc. done to augment the real-world objects.
2.1. Applications of Augmented Reality
One of the primary fields in which AR is already being used is Healthcare. There are various AR applications that have been developed for implementation in the healthcare field. Also, a lot of research and analysis is going on to find out the newer mechanisms in which the technology may be used in this field (Zhu, Hadadgar, Masiello & Zary, 2014).
There is real-time information that the augmented reality assignment can transmit which may then be used at the treatment area to simplify and enhance surgical procedures, diagnosis, and treatment. For instance, AccuVein is an AR-based handheld device that can scan and project the vein network of a person. The surgical and treatment procedures can be planned as per the network and before making the initial cuts. The use of the technology can also be done to model the tumours as well
2.1.2. Aviation & Transport Management
AR is a technology that can be used in the field of aviation and transport management. There are applications that have been developed to manage the business processes and activities. One such application that has been developed is the Gatwick Airport Passenger App. The passengers can make use of over 2,000 beacons and AR maps to easily navigate through the airport. The use of the application can also be extended to manage and control the flow of traffic.
2.1.3. Military & Defense
The technology can be used in the field of military and defense to enhance the quality and accuracy of the military operations. The environments in which the military operations are usually carried out are complex in nature. Situation Awareness is one of the AR-based applications that can be carried out in the field of military and defense. There are multiple layers of geometric and human terrain that can be managed using the augmented reality assignment.
Training is one of the significant activities involved in the field of military and defense. Virtual training can be provided with the aid of the AR devices and applications. There are certain practical benefits that are offered by Augmented Reality over the virtual environments. The use of AR can bring down the modelling requirements and can also reduce the infrastructural costs (Ling, 2017). The military personnel and resources can be made ready for the war fronts without having to face the real situations and scenarios. This can enhance the overall capabilities and operational excellence of the resources. There have been several AR projects for military that have been launched. The first such project was Super Cockpit project for the fighter pilots. The primary aim of the project was to provide spatial awareness to the fighter pilots. Aspen Movie Map, Battlefield Augmented Reality System, and C-130 Loadmaster Training are some other augmented reality assignment that have been developed and launched successfully.
2.1.4. Gaming Industry
Gaming industry has largely benefitted from AR applications and systems. PokemonGO is one of the most popular AR games that have been developed. The game was developed for Android and iOS users and was released in 2016 in various countries. There are various other AR games and applications that have been developed, such as Temple Treasure Hunt, Zombies, AR Invaders, and many more (Thomas, 2012).
AR offers the users with the real-world environment and interface to provide enhanced gaming experience. The users have been able to enjoy rich graphics and images along with the wholesome gaming experience.
3. Augmented Reality in Education
The teachers can make use of Augmented Reality in the field of teaching and to impart education to the students and learners.
There are pre-made resources that can be used by the teachers which eliminates the time and effort that goes in the planning of the lessons. Also, the use of such resources can be done to assist the students to enhance their learning levels. The engagement and connection can be created in a better way. There are AR-based books that have also been launched and are being used by the educators to bring up the level of teaching and imparting the knowledge.
There are digital worksheets and puzzle boxes that the teachers can use to engage the students in a better manner. The enforcement of the gameplay, setting up of the timer, and likewise can be put in the worksheets and puzzle boxes. There is use of QR code or other visual indicators that may be done by the teachers to gamify the classroom (Ayer, Messner & Anumba, 2016).
There are augmented field trips that are also being carried out by the educators. There are multiple layers of learning and interaction that can be included by the teachers to make the field trips interesting and engaging. The 3D models of the learning material can be used by the teachers to clearly put across the explanation and description of the particular subject.
The teachers can safely explain the components of a Scientific Laboratory to the students using the AR-based devices and applications. The preservation of the protocols and safety requirements can be ensured through such an exercise.
3.2. Potential Advantages & Disadvantages
There are various advantages that AR can offer in the field of education. The first and the foremost is the easy and 24x7 accessibility to the learning materials. The educators can make use of AR-based books, models, and applications as the learning material. With the paper-based learning material or electronic form of learning material, there is always a chance of the information being stolen or getting lost. However, with the involvement of AR in education, portability of the learning material is enhanced and the cost of the materials is also reduced.
In the case of Virtual Reality (VR) devices and applications, there are hardware components that are needed. However, such is not the case with AR applications. There is no requirement of expensive hardware or infrastructure associated with AR. The students can get to acquire collaboration and teamwork skills with the help of AR applications. The improved collaboration capabilities are acquired through the AR modules and the augmented environment that is developed with the aid of the AR applications. The overall learning capacity and speed is also improved with the aid of AR in education. There are better results that can be achieved through rich visuals and graphics. It is a known fact that pictures and graphics have a lasting impact on the memory rather than the theoretical content. AR can be used to make the learning sessions interactive and responsive in nature (Yildiz, 2017).
Practical skills and professional training can be provided by the educators through AR which can enhance the teaching capabilities of the teachers along with the learning capacities of the learners. The business organizations can also immensely benefit with the aid of AR. The workplace trainings can be organized through AR and the employees can be provided with practical trainings. The use of technology is universally applicable and it is not restricted to a specific type or learning level. As a result, the simplification of learning and training can be done (Duh & Klopfer, 2013).
Apart from the advantages listed above, there are a few disadvantages and challenges that may also come up. The implementation of a major change takes place gradually and there may be a huge share of educators and learners that may not be ready to accept the change yet. The basic reason behind the resistance to change could be lack of necessary training and the fear of failure. There is no huge infrastructure or hardware components needed to implement and access the AR applications. However, basic infrastructure, such as Smartphone or other mobile device is required to access the applications. This eliminates a certain population of users from experiencing the AR applications and services. There are content portability and compatibility issues that may appear. There is a wide range of platforms that are present and it may not be possible to provide equal experience to the users on all platforms.
3.3. Infrastructure/Hardware Requirements
The AR applications do not demand excessive infrastructure or hardware components to be used and accessed by the users.
There is a user interface that is developed for the AR applications and in order to access the interface, the users need to have a mobile device which is usually a Smartphone. There may also be other mobile or handheld devices that may be used, such as Personal Digital Assistant, Tablet, etc. (Kaklauskas, 2013).
Apart from this device, there are basic networking peripherals that are needed to make sure that the application is connected with the back-end and other components and modules.
3.4. Costing InvolvedThe primary cost that is involved in the AR applications is the cost of design and development. The design of the AR frameworks and applications is critical as all the elements need to be in place to provide the interactive environment to the users. As a result, there is a dedicated team of UI Experts, web & application designers that is involved. Similarly, the development of the source code is also a significant activity that involves detailed planning, analysis, and execution (Wojcik, 2015).
There is also cost of training and testing that is involved with the AR applications. There are functional and non-functional testing processes that are carried out to make sure that the application is free from all forms of defects and bugs. The end-users need to be provided with training on the AR applications. It is because AR is relatively new concept that is not known to a majority of the users. Therefore, the costs are spent in providing beta versions to the users or in providing them with the training guides and modules.
The hardware and infrastructure cost involved in the case of AR applications is rather low. This is because the teachers and the learners are usually equipped with a mobile device to access the application.
3.5. Ethical & Security Issues
There may be ethical and security issues that may come up for the AR applications. The ethical issues may emerge with the violation of information security and privacy associated with the application. There may be issues of data leakage, data loss, and data breaching that may also appear. Malware attack is also one of the forms of security attacks that may be carried out by the attackers. For example, the learning materials of a specific course may be targeted by the malicious entities and the access to the content may be violated (Papanastasiou, Drigas, Skianis, Lytras & Papanastasiou, 2018).
It is recommended that training is included as a mandatory activity during the implementation and launch of an augmented reality assignment. This is because AR is a relatively new concept and the users need to be made aware about the technology, application features, and capabilities so that they may make effective use of the application. There is a lot of research and development work that is being done in the field of AR. The innovative element shall be maintained and the users shall be provided with the latest applications and services.
Security and privacy is one of the major concerns that are being observed and it is necessary that the security attacks are prevented and avoided. There must be use of security tools and mechanisms that shall be done so that the security risks and prevented. These tools must always make use of the encryption protocols and measures. There are newer encryption protocols that have been developed and the same must be integrated in the AR applications. The use of multi-path encryption and other encryption protocols shall be done so that the security and privacy is maintained.
There are different favourable circumstances that AR can offer in the field of education. The first and the chief is the simple and 24x7 openness to the learning materials. The instructors can make utilization of AR-based books, models, and applications as the learning material. With the paper-based learning material or electronic type of learning material, there is dependably an opportunity of the data being stolen or getting lost. In any case, with the association of AR in education, convey-ability of the learning material is improved and the expense of the materials is additionally diminished. The students can get the chance to gain coordinated effort and cooperation abilities with the assistance of augmented reality assignment. The enhanced joint effort abilities are procured through the AR modules and the augmented condition that is created with the guide of the AR applications. The general learning limit and speed is additionally enhanced with the guide of AR in education. There are better outcomes that can be accomplished through rich visuals and illustrations. There are a couple of burdens and difficulties that may likewise come up. The usage of a noteworthy change happens bit by bit and there might be an immense offer of instructors and learners that may not be prepared to acknowledge the change yet. The objectives of the report have been achieved as the probable applications of AR have been described for XYZU. The infrastructure and hardware requirements, costing details, and ethical issues have been specified in the report as well
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