Go ahead and give augmented reality a test drive

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So what exactly, you ask, is augmented reality? As Matt Mills and Tamara Roukaerts explained in their exciting talk at TEDGlobal 2012, it’s easier to understand once you see it. So, please take out your phone or tablet. Download the app “Aurasma Lite.” Point it at the image of Robert Burns above.

Now do you get it?

Mills and Roukaerts call these images, which pop to life when viewed through the app, auras. And anyone can make them at the website Aurasma. Imagine creating video postcards for far away family members or, instead of flipping through a clunky owner’s manual, pointing your cell phone at a broken part and getting video instructions on how to fix it.

So far, 35 million auras have been viewed to date. And Aurasma appears to have already taken off among teachers. Mills and Roukaerts reveal that 20% of Aurasma users are in the education sector, with instructors sharing ideas for how to use them to capture students’ imaginations.

But enough with the words. After the jump, check out two more fun auras.

Aurasma: a $20 bill