Educational Application Using Augmented Reality Worth Looking Into

“Augmented Reality” (AR) is a concept described as an extension of Virtual Reality that blends both real-world and computer generated images. In this way, a user can interface with computer generated objects through the use of real-world objects coded so a computer can recognize and enable the interaction. Examples of AR are presently available on modern-day gaming platforms through the use of the Nintendo 3Ds, PlayStation 3 EYE and the XBOX Kinect. These applications are generally aimed at an older audience in the range of 12 years and up.

Last week, PBS Kids offered an AR game titled Fetch! Lunch Rush in the iTunes app store for select iOS devices (iPad 2, iPod Touch 4th gen and iPhones, likely 3GS models and up). After installing the app, an adult needs to print out a few pages containing the ten coded cards needed to help bridge the gap between reality and the computer generated environment.

Fetch! Lunch Rush features the host character Ruff Ruffman from the PBS Kids series “FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman” and puts the user in a situation where they must put together sushi orders for hungry cast members. Children are instructed to spread the cards around the room to help simulate the stress of a sushi chef catering to the demands of hungry cast members. In order to complete an order, the child is instructed to solve an equation by putting the card with the proper answer in the view of the iOS device. When located, the app will read the code on the card and overlay the number of sushi pieces corresponding to the number on the card.

Example of the AR application in action!

The answer to the equations will be a number from one to ten. My second-grade son completed the whole game rather quickly. The progression of levels range from simple “1 + 4 = ?” type equations to the algebraic “1 + ? = 5” format, which presents a nice challenge.

With AR, even the most mundane of things becomes something magical!

Unlike other learning games on computer devices, my son had a blast with this game. While the game itself is rather short, the price was also low (as in, “free”). Based on his enthusiasm to play, I hope we see more educational games using this sort of technology, as well as the genre branching out to other smartphone platforms such as Android.

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About Karl

Board Game Fanatic, and Father of Two, Karl played many of the games seen in big-box stores growing up, but much of that changed when he was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons in 1982. From there, he was also exposed to “dudes on a map” games such as Axis & Allies, Fortress America and Supremacy. After his grade school gaming friends moved away and Nintendo and girls became more interesting, non-electronic games took a back-seat. Sixteen years later, a co-worker suggested getting together to play a game called Illuminati. This sparked a level of interest that led Karl to want to know more. His search led him to a site called ( Eight years and 800+ games later, it is safe to say Karl is pretty engrossed in the hobby as a player and a collector of table-top games ranging from wargames, minatures, card games, Eurogames and of course, Ameritrash. While Karl began by introducing simple abstract games to his children (Checkers, Blokus, Go, etc.), he has also been introducing his two children to character genres typically cherished by geeks, thereby providing a good base for introducing table-top games to them which carry similar themes to make the play more interesting and story-like. He hopes that by playing games with the children while they are young, they will continue the hobby later in life and still want to play with Daddy even as teenagers and older. Karl goes by the handle kfritz on Board Game Geek.

One Response to Educational Application Using Augmented Reality Worth Looking Into

  1. Cyrus says:

    Outstanding! I’m going to download this tonight and play it with my little geeks!

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