Waves of impact: Our AR Tech Boosts Student Engagement by 243%

‍In recent years, augmented reality has emerged as a transformative technology with the potential to not only change how we interact with educational content, but also deepen the ways in which we learn. And yet, while artificial intelligence (AI) has seen an explosive development in recent years, AR has not yet reached its full potential in the realm of education.

The AI revolution has undoubtedly made its mark across various industries, empowering businesses with intelligent automation, data analytics, and personalized experiences. Its rapid growth can be attributed to a convergence of factors such as advancements in computing power, access to vast amounts of data, and breakthroughs in algorithms. Drawing parallels between AI and AR, it is impossible to ignore the strong indication that their fates seem deeply interlinked. We have written about this topic in our blog post about the role generative AI may hold in boosting the development of 3D models.

However, it is apparent that, in comparison to the momentum AI has had, what's hindering the widespread adoption of AR are the still prevalent misconceptions surrounding this technology, often stemming from outdated experiences or limited exposure to its capabilities.

So what’s changed about AR in the last decade or so?

AR Implementation is No Longer a Costly Endeavour

In its early stages, AR implementation required expensive equipment, required specialized skills, substantial resources, and dedicated development teams, thereby hindering mass adoption. This is no longer the case.

Today there are user-friendly AR platforms and tools, like our own Ludenso Studio, that streamline the creation process. By removing the need for internal developer teams, we save on time, unnecessary meetings, and back and forth between the tech and the editorial teams. This makes AR implementation more accessible and cost-effective.

Through Broad Application AR Reaches Diverse Audiences

A picture of a phone in the hand of a student, showing a DNA structure in AR
A student in science class uses Ludenso Explore app to preview AR content. Image credit: Johanne Nyborg

A common misconception about AR is that it is merely a passing trend, applicable mainly to gaming, and that it only appeals to a niche audience or specific demographics. The truth is that AR has the potential to transform traditional publishing by merging physical and digital worlds. Furthermore, AR is a broad term and a technology that can enhance the reader experience by adding interactive elements, like animations, audio, quizzes, videos, and additional contextual information, creating a seamless link between print and digital content - in addition to 3D.

AR can be utilized across a wide range of publishing categories, including textbooks, workbooks, children's books, art books, and travel guides, to name a few examples. An article in Harvard Business Review published several years ago highlights the case of AR application done at Boeing, and the company’s study finding that AR has had a significant positive impact on productivity and efficiency of work done in their training programs.

Innovative Platforms and Tools Allow Everyone to Make AR Content

Some may perceive that AR requires extensive technical expertise and skills. And although the development of AR applications may necessitate technical expertise, there now exists a wide range of ready-made solutions and platforms that streamline the process. These platforms provide intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces, allowing publishers to create AR experiences without coding.

A screenshot from the Ludenso Studio, showing how authors can use a drag and drop platform to create AR books
A screenshot from the Ludenso Studio, showing how authors can choose content from the 3D model library
AR platforms like Ludenso Studio (pictured) allow authors to intuitively create, edit and place AR content within educational material regardless of their technical expertise level

Here at Ludenso, we’re driving this change with Ludenso Studio. With its intuitive interface and simplified process of integrating AR elements, technical skills are no longer a barrier for creating AR experiences. With tools like Ludenso Studio, AR content creation is more accessible to editors and authors without extensive technical expertise. Authors themselves can now link digital content seamlessly from print to digital, enabling a cohesive and interactive reading experience. This also results in AR elements that are aligned with the educational goals, leading to a harmonious and interactive reading experience that maintains the pedagogical quality of the content.

Were you surprised to find out authors can now create AR experiences on their own using innovative AR tools? Send us a message to tell us what you think – we’d love to answer any questions you may have.

In our recent blog post, citing the user case of one of our partner authors, biology teacher and author Sarah Dudley from Cambridge University Press & Assessment, we’ve discussed how augmented reality can empower authors to create immersive educational content for students that goes beyond the text, opening up opportunities for a more engaging learning experience for everyone.

Widespread AR-Compatible Tech Allows For Quick AR Adoption

Another misconception we often encounter when speaking with publishers is that AR lacks user adoption and has a limited audience reach. However, the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, coupled with the recent launch of Apple’s Vision Pro, is expected to further fuel the growth of AR and AR-capable devices. According to Statista, there were just over 440 million AR-compatible mobile devices in 2019, now there are over 1.4 billion. This significant increase demonstrates explosive growth in the accessibility and adoption of AR, leading to the fact that AR experiences now reach a broad audience – transcending age, location, and interests.

By leveraging social media platforms and mobile apps, publishers can effectively distribute AR-enhanced content to engage readers and expand their reach. Leveraging the devices that readers already possess allows publishers to seamlessly integrate AR experiences without incurring substantial additional expenses.

As more research studies highlight the positive impact of AR on learning outcomes and engagement in students, the educational community ought to recognize the value and potential of integrating AR into educational material. Thoughtfully implemented, AR can enhance engagement, provide learning opportunities, and appeal to diverse audiences, including students K-12, students in higher education, as well as apply to corporate training of professional workers.

Infograph: 74% of teachers using AR use it at least once a week
A recent survey by McGraw Hill indicates high retention rates among teachers who have started using AR in teaching

According to the recent survey conducted by McGraw Hill, the majority of educators using AR in class agree that it benefits student engagement and motivation. And while only about a quarter of teachers surveyed used AR as an educational tool, nearly three quarters of the ones who used it in class did so at least once a week, clearly indicating that once put to use, AR technology has the potential to have a high retention rate.

Tell us what you think

Did you still believe some of the misconceptions we’ve written about in this post?

If so, we hope this overview of common misconceptions about AR has been illuminating for you. We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments.

Are you a publisher and curious to give AR-enriched content a try?

Excellent, just head to our Request Demo page, fill out the form, and we'll set up a 20-minute call to demo the technology for you, and discuss collaboration opportunities. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Demystifying AR in Publishing: Embracing the AR Revolution