UA-27757076-1 -

Augmented Reality

“Run! Run from the dragon as fast as we can!”

When my children were very little, so little their little legs moved quick but traveled slow and their attention was enraptured by every pebble, line and shadow, I grew impatient and a bit frightened by backing cars on the walk from the car to the entrance of the grocery store.  And so I pointed to the hill rising beside the grocery store and asked if they saw the dragon. We pretended together and ran a good sprint hand and hand to get to the safety of the store entrance where we high fived and whooped at our success once again evading a worthy adversary.  Caveat – they always knew to hold my hand and never run on their own.  They also became very adept at spotting other mythical creatures when they wanted to hurry me along.

I’ve always been fascinated with the ability to take what was happening in our own imagination and share it with another. We’ve been augmenting reality with constraints and perceptions of others since our brains struggled to make sense of the world. Now, we have the chance to start programming augmented reality into the line of sight of anyone who can afford something like Google glass. Can my children graphically design a grand firework dragon (think Lord of the Rings opening scenes) to surprise their grandchildren visiting a storefront?

Google glass, which portrays information available on a smart phone in the corner of your reading glasses, is now in the hands of tech bloggers and being parodied on Saturday Night Live and numerous YouTubes.  I participated in a Google Science Fair Hangout on Air this week on Photography.  Trey Ratcliff was featured in his discussion of the science of photography and his awesome use of High Dynamic Range Photography.  While fascinating, I was caught up in a moment where the host, Robert Scoble, briefly demonstrated augmented reality binoculars through which you could see a computer generated fake person standing on the ground (go to 26:44) outside his studio.  I went to search and found some incredible “AR” (Augmented Reality) tools being developed.

Ten years ago we were talking about a digital divide, a separation of people with internet access and those without.  The Smart Phone is slowly closing that gap, but it still exists.  There is another divide that is happening, the divide between those who are simply entertained by technology, and those who are co-creators with it (the difference between being a passenger in the car and knowing how to drive it). I encourage you to surf with your child the Google Science Fair Hangouts on Air, both past and future, and help them envision becoming drivers of technology.  These are free resources to whet your appetite about some of the incredible work being done in STEM.  For those interested in photography, I recommend the session with Trey.  On top of excellent information, you also receive a free code to download some extraordinary tutorials on HDR photography.


Google Science Fair Hangouts Past Google Science Fair Hangouts Future
Dean Kamen  (Inventing to Change the World)  Wed, May 15, 2:00 PM Invent the Future, Change the World with Salim Ismail, Singularity University 
Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer  Wed, May 22, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Guy Kawasaki & The Science of Startups
Paleo Quest’s Jason Osborne & Aaron Alford (Diving for Fossils with Sharks and Alligators)  

Sign up for news of more

Esther Dyson (Genetic Testing)   
Peter Diamandis (Robots mining asteroids)    

Trey Radcliff: The Science of Photography

“The ZomBee Hunter,” Professor John Hafernik  
22 others!


As the young people I work with learn to program and design virtual worlds, and  I watch as they can superimpose these Virtual Realities onto Reality itself, augmenting reality, I am challenged by the eternal questions of what is worth our time, what type of designs are worth creating and integrating into our reality, is there truth, a “T” that combines with AR to make it ART?

Some of Trey’s Images…





Permanent link to this article:


Skip to comment form

  1. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both entertaining and educated, and let me let you know, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the problem is that not enough people are speaking about it.

  2. Your own individual capability and kindness in handling the subject was excellent.

  3. I discovered this web site on a search engine and reviewed a number of of your other posts. Continue to keep up the good job.

  4. One of my favorite posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.