Tag: ar tech

Miraffe offers kids new AR tech learning experience

A “magic mirror” device for children offers fun educational experience.

Augmented reality (AR) technology can be fun and educational and Chinese Shenzen-based company Xiaoxi Technology is combining both these aspects in its new Miraffe “all-knowing magic mirror.” Miraffe is a yellow, hand-held mirror-shaped device with a giraffe-inspired design (including a giraffe spotted handle as well as ears, knobs and eyes on top of the bezel). The AR tech has been specifically created for children and features a phone-sized screen and a front-facing camera, which recognizes objects and links animated characters with the real world, providing children with educational apps and the ability to video chat with parents.

Miraffe can do more than recognize and name objects

The device can recognize everyday objects, such as a phone and calculator, according to Variety, and it can also spell the word for each object it recognizes in both English and Chinese. According to a spokesperson from the company, presently, Miraffe has a 60 to 70% accuracy object recognition rate. While impressive to say the least, there is still room for improvement.

That being said, the device does more than simply name objects. It also comes with numerous interactive AR cards that are both fun and educational. These picture paper cards feature various animals such as tigers, fish, zebra, etc., which can be viewed by the Miraffe’s camera, and appear as 3D animated images through the screen. The user can obtain a life-like 360 degree view of the 3D animals by tapping and dragging the animals on the screen.

Miraffe offers a more affordable and less complicated approach to AR tech.

Although Miraffe’s augmented reality approach isn’t exactly unique, what makes it notable is that it is an AR device designed specifically for children and, as Variety puts it, has opened up “a middle ground between general purpose mobile phones and expensive headsets or glasses.”

Instead of requiring an expensive and complex gadget to make augmented reality work, Miraffe has shown that it can be done with a simple toy that is fun for children and easy for them to use.

Currently, Xiaoxi Technology is running a Kickstarter campaign for Miraffe, which is selling a limited number of the devices for $99. However, the company intends to sell its AR tech device for a suggested retail price of $300 later this year.

Augmented reality enhances the Harvard mobile tour app experience

Tourists head to the ivy league university every day and now they are seeing it in a whole new way.

Harvard has now launched a new official university tour app that uses augmented reality technology and other features to provide visitors with an enhanced version of the more traditional form of audio tour that is often seen in museums.

The new mobile app is called the Harvard Official Mobile Tour and is currently available to tourists.

This application represents the first project that was taken on by PIVOTtheWorld, which is a startup operating out of the Innovation Lab at the university. Visitors to the campus simply need to download the mobile app, install it and launch it. Then, when they point their device at any of the 23 different applicable “pivot points,” that is, landmarks throughout the Harvard grounds that have been selected to be a part of the tour, they can learn about those spots through augmented reality features.

The augmented reality app lets a visitor see what the pivot point looked like, back in time, when it was new.

harvard university augmented realityThe pivot points are typically buildings or statues, some of which date back by centuries. Some of the old images are photographs, while others are paintings, as many of the pivot points are much older than photography. The idea is to be able to use the AR technology to be able to look at the way that specific place has changed over the years, while the visitor is able to learn more about what they are seeing.

PIVOTtheWorld is a company that was first founded by husband-and-wife team Asma Jaber and Sami Jitan, following the death of Asma Jaber’s father. Her father, originally a Palestinian, moved to the U.S. in the late 1960s. Jaber was raised to hear the stories of the world he had first called home. When he died, she had only recently graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Despite the fact that she had lived her life in rural South Carolina and then went to university at Harvard, she said she “grew up with a vivid image of Palestine.”

Her husband, Jitan, is an anthropologist. Also a descendent of a Palestinian family, he shared in her passion for cultural history. It was that common enthusiasm for the subject that led to the formation of PIVOTtheWorld and the development of augmented reality experiences that would allow people to see more than what is in front of their eyes when they visit a place of historical significance.