The Fidelity of Mobile Technology continues to Deepen

If you haven’t seen this new technology being promoted by NVIDIA, you should check it out.

This is a partnership between several organizations as you can see from the video, and it adds another layer of depth to the mobile augmented reality experience. I’ve written about other amazing technologies like the Layar Browser in previous posts, and this technology is similar but adds another element by allowing the user to interact with a fictional environment in the physical space. This is the type of technology that really showcases the things you can do with mobile devices. You couldn’t do this with a laptop or a desktop, you need the mobility to move your body around a fictional world. These augmented reality technologies are very interesting when we consider the applications for learning and for productivity in general. Imagine several executives standing around pointing their mobile devices at a point on the floor where an architect could begin to put things together as he shows them layout options for their new office building.

I try not to point out technology strictly based on it’s cool factor and the advancement of mobile learning is my focus. So I will again offer up a scenario, and I would like to point out that this level of augmented reality is really a new step in interactivity, one we haven’t seen with gaming systems or computer-based simulations because it allows us to map the virtual world into the physical space at any place or time, you are not tethered to a living room or classroom. A teacher or trainer could potentially bring a mobile device to any part of the world to work with a group of students using this technology.

So here’s your scenario: You are a trainer charged with teaching field technicians the features of your company’s new wind turbine assembly. You head out to meet the field techs armed with some reading material, a small plastic model of the assembly and your mobile device with a pre-programmed model map installed. When you get to your location, you give the students an orientation of the assembly by having them aim their mobile device’s camera at the model which renders a 3D model map of the assembly on their mobiles. As the students walk around the small plastic model, they are mimicking what it would be like to walk around the actual assembly, they see the parts and the operation of the assembly when it is in motion. At the end, you test the students by asking them to label the parts of the assembly and type in descriptions of each part and it’s functionality into their mobile device before sending off the results to you. You consolidate the results and score each tech, then provide feedback and remediation links to each student, linking them to parts of the assembly they missed.

We may begin to see this type of scenario in the coming months and years as the technology becomes more pervasive.

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