Augmented reality experiments

Categorising our AR experiments.



A 3D graphic geo-located in Ilkley.


A 2D graphic geo-located at Gamanta Hotel, Palanga, Lithuania.


Information on Klaipeda Theatre geo-located in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

On printed material

A link to a Youtube film on the Corners East Xpedition map.

Experimenting with the Layar’s AR application

As Carma mentioned in her ‘Dance and Technology’ post

‘Layar can also augment images in magazines, books or in any printed format. And what is more interesting is that it can be done by anyone, even those with no programming skills. Layar’s website has a step by step tutorial for printed AR. You can start your own AR app today, with no programming needed.’

After a conversation on Skype with Carma and watching the tutorial I decided to start my own AR app and test out what could be achieved in relation to what I have been thinking about. I decided to test out the features and here is an example of what can be done.

Through the application I was able to apply a video from You Tube onto an already existing image, therefore if the image was placed within the city with a simple message on it such as ‘scan me’ the participants smart phone would then begin to scan the image and find the data which has been augmented onto that particular image through the Layar’s application.

You have to take into Consideration that they (the public) may not have the application software downloaded to there device so it may not be as quick and simple as desired but it will give them the option to do so. This could work very well within a controlled performance environment as you would be able to ensure that all participants have the software already installed in advance so there devices are ready to scan. If it was in a less controlled environment it may be hard to get people to follow on with the installation of the application as they may loose interest. This is something I think can be tested further by leaving images in the city and monitoring the interaction by the amount of views a You Tube clip may get from that point onwards.

These are the images of the poster I had on my wall with the You Tube video augmented onto them through my phone, so basically a screen shot. Once the scan has found the information you can then click and watch the video.

In this image I augmented a website link onto the image, once scanned you then can press on the Blue tab which then takes you to the choreographic perambulations around rough corners blog. So a quick way to be directed to a website.

I think although this is very basic there is a lot more that can be explored to make this a really interesting way of viewing and sharing information. Many more experiments to come. I think in time this application will be as popular as social networking sites and almost everybody will have it installed to there smart phone. The possibilities could be endless.

Jesus man and Silent walks

‘The extra-ordinary’ and ‘the ordinary’ in everyday public behavior.

Whilst in Bradford city centre observing the people and the dynamics of the city ‘Bradford’s walking man’ (Jesus man to my generation) passed me by.                          Seeing Jesus man has almost become the norm to me, of course I am still curious as to whom he is and want to understand his mysterious persona but at the same time he’s just Jesus man. It is very normal to see him pass by on a visit into town, whilst on the bus or even seeing him trend on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The ‘extra-ordinary’ (Jesus man) has almost become the ‘ordinary’ to the people of Bradford.

I then came across the film The Excursion by Yorkshire based artist Simon Warner, Simon’s film documents the movements of Jesus man within the Bradford district, the film is showing at the Journey and Migrations exhibition in Bradford.

More information about the exhibition can be found at

The film and my interest in him made me think about what he does and how walking interests me as a performativce practice. Following this I decided to take part in Phil Harding’s silent sound walk through Bradford on 24/8/12.

Phil, myself and 6 other participants met at Handmade in Bradford at 5pm to set off on the silent sound walk across Bradford, we were instructed that we could not communicate at any point and should follow each other in single file line with Phil as the leader of the walk. We each walked about a meter apart from one another resulting in a single file snaking line of people walking through the city. For me I couldn’t help but think about how this must look if I was a spectator. It was interesting to observe the city in a much more conscious way, really listening to the sounds that make up the voice of Bradford rather than passing through dismissing the most interesting happenings.

The route of the walk

More information of the walk can be found at

On the walk I was thinking about the ways in which the Augmented Reality app could be used as a means to guide, explore and even find new things within the city. Could having something in place in the town such as an image to scan bring a performance, text or audio to a certain location in the town using the Layar application?

I will try these ideas out.

Dance and Technology

There are many technologies that may interest artists but augmented reality is the one that I find most interesting. Augmented reality is a live view of a physical environment, whose elements are augmented through sound, video, graphics or gps (global positioning system) data. This technology enhances one’s perception. It must not be mistaken with virtual reality, that aims to replace real world with a simulated one. Augmented reality may be associated with augmentation of locations (geo-located) that are called POIs (points of interest), or might be marker based.

Smartphones like android and iphone provide the user with AR (augmented reality) apps (applications) and browsers. There are several AR browsers but the one that seems to be most interesting is Layar, because it can augment through all the means mentioned above, while other browsers use only some means of augmentation like text and graphics.

I shall now speak about how Layar browser can enhance an artists’ work. Each Layar application can have several POIs and each POI can have several actions associated with it. I can for example spot an app geo-located in a museum and watch an exhibition’s movie, ask for information by sms or e-mail, call to book a ticket, hear an exposure’s advertising, or go to the museum’s web page.

These are the most immediate actions but there are other features that I consider more interesting. Layar can trigger events when the user is within a certain range of a POI or when the app is launched. For example when the user is within 50 meters of the museum’s range, he can automatically hear a sound or see a video. All the actions can be triggered except making a call. The user is always asked to authorize or decline the automatic trigger.

Imagine that the artist is enhancing a treasure hunt. When the user is within a 100 meters range he can hear a hint to the treasure. The hint could be on a website or taken through a video. Or he would have to send an e-mail somewhere to get it. However there are certain limitations. Different mobiles can spot the POI at different distances, which means that, in the example given, some users can hear the hint in more advance than others.

Layar can also augment images in magazines, books or in any printed format. And what is more interesting is that it can be done by anyone, even those with no programming skills. Layar’s website has a step by step tutorial for printed AR. You can start your own AR app today, with no programming needed.