Augmenting the Science Centre and Museum Experience
Recent advances in computer graphics and interactive techniques have increased the visual quality and flexibility of Augmented Reality (AR) applications. This, in turn has increased the viability of applying AR to educational exhibits for use in Science Centres, Museums, Libraries and other education centres. This article outlines a selection of five projects developed at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory in New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ) that have explored different techniques for applying AR to educational exhibits. These exhibits have received very positive feedback and appear to have educational benefits involving spatial, temporal and contextual conceptualisation and provide kinaesthetic, explorative and knowledge-challenging stimulus. The controls available to a user of turning a page, moving an AR marker, moving their head and moving a slider provide sufficient freedom to create many interaction scenarios that can serve educative outcomes. While the use of virtual media provides many advantages, creating new content is still quite difficult, requiring specialist software and skills. Useability observations are shared.