By Erica Condon and Anthony DiGennaro
Senior Managing Editor of Editorial and Staff Reporter
Sept. 19 was the opening of “The Augmentists” exhibit in the Art and Design Gallery in the Edgerton Center. “The Augmentists” is an interactive art exhibit using the new technology of augmented reality (AR).
The Oxford English Dictionary defines augmented reality as “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” In other words, it uses technology to create an image in front of you through a camera in real-time.
If you have ever had any experience playing Pokémon Go, then you might understand how this technology works. Like Pokémon Go, AR uses the camera on your phone to create visuals on your screen that make it appear as if those digital visuals are actually placed in the real world.
Augmented reality could be confused with virtual reality, but the two technologies have differences. Virtual reality is viewed through a headset that displays a completely digital world, while augmented reality displays virtual images and videos into the real-world settings through a camera.
Michelle Navarro graduated from Sacred Heart in 2013 as a Graphic Design major. Navarro had the chance to check out the innovative art exhibit.
“This is actually a really smart way to interact with art,” said Navarro.
“19 Crimes” and “Jack Daniels” are two liquor companies that have used the AR app technology to help market their product, both of which were on display at the exhibit. The app “Living Wine Labels” allows the labels on the bottles to come to life with stories and animations when you view them through your phone’s camera.
Senior Angelina DiNota attended the exhibit as part of her Digital Production class. “The Jack Daniels bottle was able to lay out a time capsule that told the story of the liquor. I was pretty impressed with it to say the least,” she said. “It was a history lesson of the liquor, while also being entertained.”
Navarro believes that augmented reality technology can widen the market for art and let more people enjoy the experience of admiring good art work.
“I think this is a great way to bridge the gap between art and the people who don’t have the patience to appreciate it,” she said.
Junior Sam Elia said she enjoyed the exhibit because it was a way of bringing the art to life.
“They should keep this exhibit up or do something like this again. I would come back in here all the time,” said Elia. “It literally tells you a story, you can converse with the art like this. This art is different in an innovative way.”
“Augmented reality will allow a positive impact on any sort of an exhibit in the future. We can now turn pictures into real-life stories without having to read. It’s what the future is becoming, a virtual world for us to live and learn in,” said DiNota.
You can experience “The Augmentists” exhibit for yourself in the Edgerton Center in the Art and Design Gallery. Download the apps “Artivive,” “TIME Immersive” and “Quiver” on your smartphone or tablet in order to fully immerse yourself in the AR exhibit and watch the art come to life.