Enhancing education with AR technology

By adding a digital layer to physical books, we aim to make education and learning more accessible for all. In this post, you'll hear how we work to empower more learners from co-founder Harald Manheim and Microsoft's Education Lead in Norway, Henriette Dolven.

– Kids falling behind in the educational system is not because they aren’t clever enough to be in school. It’s because the education isn’t tailored to every student. Those who struggle with reading, can get the same information from a video or a 3D model, making it more illustrative and interactive, says technical lead in Ludenso, Harald Løvland Manheim.

Not everyone learns best from the traditional way of simply reading a book and taking notes. While it works for some, many would benefit from a more interactive way of learning. Luckily, technology has come far, and can provide alternatives tailored to each individual student.

– If there are more ways to learn available, the chances of everyone succeeding increases, Manheim adds. 

Everyone can learn

Hundred-years-old schoolbooks will be more or less only text, and as the decades have come and gone, we’ve seen increasingly more and more pictures in the books, making the learning more immersive.

– We see the digital AR layer as a natural extension of this long trend of conveying information in more ways. Adding a digital layer on the pages is an extension of what is already written in the physical book, Manheim explains.

With an app on their phone or tablet, students can be guided to a video with further explanations on the topic the chapter is about, or even bring up an augmented reality (AR) 3D model of something they are reading about.

– We have heard from teachers, that kids who previously haven’t been the best at the homework, suddenly could explain how a heart works, because they had studied a 3D model in AR, says Manheim.

Bridges the physical and digital

An AR model of a beating heart (photo: Johanne Nyborg)

According to Manheim, a problem for academic publishing today is that the publishing houses earn their money on selling physical books, and struggle to convert their customers to digital content. 

– We want to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital, says Manheim

The editors and writers at publishing houses are the experts on the topics they write about. They curate the contents of the physical book. With the Ludenso Explore app, publishers can bridge physical books with digital resources through AR. 

Students simply scan their schoolbooks with a tablet or phone and transform reading into an interactive and engaging learning experience.

– It is easy and intuitive to add digital content. It will open a whole new world of learning for the students, says Manheim.

The technology will even give books a longer lifetime, as it can help to keep the books updated with the latest developments. 

Built to scale

Ludenso is a certified independent software vendor (ISV) partner of Microsoft. Their solutions are hosted in Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure.

– Azure is crucial for our ability to scale our solutions to serve more users with increasing amounts of content. To be included in Microsoft’s go-to-market program has given us attention in social media and opportunities with global media outlets, Manheim explains.

Education Lead in Microsoft Norway, Henriette Dolven explains that the partnership is mutually beneficial.

– We want to work with partners who promote and develop solutions on our technology. We depend on our ISVs to bring value to the stories we bring to our customers. Microsoft’s solutions for education can’t cover every need alone. Together we can enrichen the educational arena, for both teachers and students, and solve issues they didn’t even know they had, says Dolven.
Photo: from the left Harald Manheim (Co-Founder and CTO of Ludenso) and Henriette Dolven (Education Lead in Microsoft Norway)

Microsoft’s presence in basically every country on earth was a differentiator for Ludenso. Data centers in Norway is important for privacy and GDPR reasons. Microsoft Education’s mission statement is to empower every student on the planet to achieve more. Manheim feels the statement resonates well with Ludenso’s vision.

– In addition to help students everywhere and at every stage, we want to be the leading AR universe for learning. We wish for 3D models to be as comfortable to send and use as jpeg files are now, Manheim says.

PS! If you are working in the publishing industry and would like to know more, feel free to shoot us an email at ingrid@ludenso.com. We are always happy to connect!