Cavorting on the edges of education for more than a decade, augmented and virtual reality technologies have developed to the point where there are many options for individual instructors to produce their own materials or make use of those materials already available. A few new technologies have emerged recently offering a greater ‘wow’ factor and, while not all of these are easy to adopt or create, they are now mainstream enough to warrant exploration.
The breakthrough augmented reality technology of 2016 was Pokemon Go. Within weeks of this game’s release people of various ages could be seen wandering public spaces capturing Pokemon. The unique element to this game was the overlay of game graphics on the real world, interpreted through a smartphone. The use of GPS to trigger and coordinate this interaction meant that the whole world was the play-space for Pokemon Go. A few years previous to this, virtual reality received it’s consumer level breakthough with Google Cardboard. These inexpensive, cardboard goggles turned your smartphone into the optics producing a three dimensional immersive virtual reality experience.