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Jan 24, 2013 — By: Kevin Clark
Welcome to the Smart Phone companion, Folks! I’m Kevin, a librarian at the Daviess County Public Library. Daviess County Public Librarians, in partnership with the Green Gazette, will help you maximize the use of your smart device with hints and tricks, as well as other general tech information. Today you’ll be reading about the exciting App Aurasma.
What’s your Aura?
A new age friend of mine recently told me my aura was green and sometimes teal. An aura is defined as “a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object.” I haven’t the slightest idea what that means, but there are disembodied auras now all over the Daviess County Public Library and soon to be all over Daviess County. Thanks to a somewhat new smart phone/tablet app called Aurasma visitors to the Daviess County Public Library can now unlock various hidden content.
Augment your Reality:
Aurasma is an augmented reality software platform which accesses a smartphone or tablet’s camera to recognize real world images and then overlay media content over the real world image via the smartphone or tablet’s screen. So what the heck does that really mean? It means Aurasma allows your smart device to access digital content that is otherwise invisible. You’ll access the Aurasma App through your smart device, scan a requisite image, and watch the aura magically appear on your screen. It’s really that simple and quite cool.
Aurasma is currently being used by a variety of companies including Marvel Entertainment, Maybelline, and Universal Pictures. The use of the technology by these types of companies can be incorporated into print and web advertising or in some cases to create exclusive digital content only available through the technology.
R.I.P. QR Codes:
You may be saying, “Now wait a minute. How is this different from a QR code?” If you don’t know what a QR code is you have most definitely seen a few. You know those pixelated squares you see on billboards and magazine and newspaper advertisements? That’s a QR code and they can be scanned by any number of QR reader apps available for smart devices. The QR codes can be used to transfer you to specific web content, display a specific message or picture. QR codes were most commonly used by advertisers to link consumers to websites for coupons and various other deals. But with the emergence of Aurasma companies are no longer limited to a stark black and white boxy image. With Aurasma the scannable image can be incorporated directly into the imagery of an existing advertisement. Aurasma can do everything a QR code can and much more.
Way more than just Ads:
Aurasma has a vast user potential though initially the software has been used similarly to QR codes for advertisements and coupons. Once a specific QR code is created it can only ever do what it was created to do. There is little flexibility. The auras created through Aurasma can be altered and changed at any time. In some cases different auras can be created for the same trigger image based on geographic location. Probably the neatest way Aurasma can be used is through the expansion of content and activities. Imagine scanning an image of a former United States President and suddenly the image leaps to life with an actor portraying the POTUS while they regale you with a tale. Or perhaps you can be led on a historic walking tour by scanning landmarks. Or scanning a movie poster to see the trailer. Aura’s can be created literally for anything. And the auras can be a simple image, video, animation, web content, or all of the above. Aurasma is only limited by the imagination.
Frame your imagination:
In April of 2012 the Daviess County Public Library began using Aurasma. We started small by unveiling the technology at the East Bridge Art Festival sidewalk chalk contest. Library staff created some dazzling sidewalk chalk art and incorporated several auras that advertised upcoming events. The DCPL had the only interactive sidewalk chalk art at the festival. The public was so thrilled that we were voted the 2nd place winner of the contest. From there we never looked back.
The Daviess County Public Library has quotes of famous and important people on the walls throughout the building. When these quotes are scanned with Aurasma a photo of the speaker appears and then visitors are led to a website with more information about the speaker. In addition to the wall quotes the DCPL kicked off their Frame your Imagination Virtual Art Gallery in January of 2013. There is a virtual art gallery on display in the lobby consisting of fifteen empty frames. When the frames are scanned they fill up with work by local artist Charles Shoemaker. The DCPL plans to rotate artists on a monthly basis.
The Daviess County Public Library now has a DCPL-FYI app available in the Google Play and Apple App store (shameless plug: Green Gazette has their very own Aurasma App too). The App is free and accesses all of the DCPL’s Aurasma content. First download the free App for your smart device. Then you’ll need to register an account with Aurasma. It’s free and only requires a Username, Password, and an email address (which doesn’t even have to be valid). Once you’ve completed the steps then you’re ready to begin exploring the Frame your Imagination Virtual Gallery as well as the library’s other auras.
Next time you head to the DCPL bring your smart device along for a chance to Frame your imagination at the DCPL. We really hope you enjoy the inclusion of this creative technology.