If you haven’t seen the Leap Motion Augmented Reality table tennis demo, have a look. And take a look behind the scenes at how they think about AR in Johnathon Selstad’s blog post, Mastering Reality with Project North Star.
The most striking insight for us,
As we augment our reality, we augment ourselves.
It’s too easy to forget this and think that AR is about transforming the world or our interaction with it. It’s all about how it will transform us.
First, the Augmented Reality table tennis game. On the face of it, it’s just a simple AR game demo. Nothing more.
But there is so much more in this simple game – the potential to transform how we work and learn. And it has implications for the how we structure these learning experiences. eLearning is a major component of the corporate world; how would it change if we had AR experiences available on-demand? If we could casually improve our skills anywhere, anytime? And likewise, for high education. As the opportunities for skill development become ubiquitous, what will be the role of our institutions of learning?
Johnathon Selsted continues,
The realism and physical reproducibility of this demo were built with the intent that the user should grow in their understanding of the system by interacting with it. As a medium, AR has the potential to improve how we learn about and interact with the real world. Simulations like this have the unique ability to adjust their difficulty downward to accommodate novices and upward to challenge experts in a whole new way – appealing to players at all skill levels.
Eventually, as AR systems become more advanced and lifelike, we will be able to practice against “impossibly difficult” artificial opponents and use that intuition in the real world like never before. Current and near-future professions may be aided by advanced AR training systems that allow us to casually achieve levels of skill that previously required months of determined practice.
With the advent of centaur chess and other collaborations between humans and AI, we’re just barely scratching the surface of what might be possible. We now have access to abilities that our ancestors could have scarcely imagined. Though the age of swords and their utility has long since been relegated to the distant past, it is my belief that the greatest swordsman of all time has not yet been born.
We’re on the cusp of a profound transformation in learning that will include multiplayer AR experiences and AI driven simulations. Leap Motion gets it – Augmented Reality is not about augmented the world, but transforming ourselves.
Emory Craig is a writer, speaker, and VR consultant with extensive experience in art, new media, and higher education. He speaks at global conferences on innovation, education, and ethical technology in the future. He has published widely and worked with the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Living at the intersection of learning, games, and immersive storytelling, he is fascinated by AI-based avatars, digital twins, and the ethical implications of blurring the boundaries between the real and the virtual.