Before this assignment, I didn’t really think much about augmented reality. I only used to think about it in terms of games like Pokémon Go but thinking about it in this context and our actual reality, gave me a new perspective on it. I never thought to augment the reality of a building before, but this whole process, especially learning the history of the building, really gave me a new appreciation and understanding of both Memorial Hall and the fundamentals behind AR.
The overall process was not too bad. I think most of the difficulties stemmed from figuring out where to augment and what to augment it with. Overall, the most challenging part was using the app. Although we played around with it in class, the design of the app made using it a lot more difficult and frustrating. But once those issues were solved, the process went pretty smoothly. I definitely think that learning about the history of Memorial Hall really benefited us.
For my first overlay, I chose to do the World War I memorial on the first floor of the building. I chose this spot because the World War I memorial and its history was something I was unfamiliar with before the start of this project. Though I am in the building quite often, I never stopped to look at what was actually there. I overlayed it with an older picture from our archives of some students on the first floor in earlier years. I chose this overlay because I thought it was really cool to see the comparison of what the building looked like when it was newer to what it looks like today. It’s also really interesting to see it in the context of a landmark that hasn’t changed. The World War I memorial in particular has stayed pretty much constant, while the building around it has changed dramatically.
The second thing I choose to augment was a display of books also on the first floor of the building. I chose this spot because I pass by it every day but never think anything of it. When we were learning the history of Memorial, I was really intrigued by how it used to be a library, the story of how they worked really hard to get the funding through the state to build it, and ultimately how Memorial Hall was built. I thought it was interesting that the display I chose showed some of the only books left in the building. I chose to overlay it with a picture of stacks of books from when Memorial Hall acted as the library. I wanted to do this because I liked seeing the comparison of how something could change shape over time, and I thought it was an interesting detail that I passed by everyday but always overlooked. Looking at it in comparison to how Memorial Hall used to be gives me a new perspective on something I just always saw as décor and never really thought twice about.
Overall, I’m honestly not sure where the future of augmented reality is going to go, but I definitely think this is a pretty great start.