I know there are a lot of people who find Quick Response (QR) codes an amazing tool – and they are. You can direct people to specific URL‘s where they’ll find additional information, use them in treasure hunts and use them in all sorts of other ways. However, if you are expecting someone to get their smart-phone out, launch a QR reader, scan your code and then go experience your website, you might find that your “hit rate” isn’t quite what you’d like.  So, instead of giving your user a simple pointer go somewhere else, why not keep the viewer engaged through augmenting their reality? And, this is what the developers at String Labs have done.  The idea behind their product is that you print or display a “target” image, view the target through your smart-phone (or tablet) and an interactive 3D image is superimposed on your camera image.  They have a number of different showcase ideas, but in the education sphere, I can envision targets being printed on a textbook page which, when viewed through your phone, jump into interactive 3D.  An example of this could be a picture of how DNA replication operates.  You have the picture of the process, but when viewed through your phone, a 3D video of the process is superimposed over the textbook picture.  You would be able to view the moving model from different angles and at different magnifications and possibly even interact with it.  For art history, the picture of a statue could be the target for a high-resolution 3D model of the same statue.  The app is available here and you can download their demo target images here.

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