Augmented Reality by Liz Barbour

Using the virtual world to enhance the real world.


Aurasma is an augmented reality platform that allows people to interact with their world through virtual "auras". Currently Aurasma has over 40,000 customers in over 100 countries.

Aurasma uses a "trigger" such as a real world location, object or image that when recognized by Aurasma activates a digital overlay. In one aura I created, a matchbox spider appears to crawl across Grumpy Cat.

Educational Strengths of Aurasma

  • Captures student interest
  • Free app for iPads and Smartphones
  • Can use overlays that are available on the app or sign up for Aurasma Studio for free to create your own overlays
  • Can use a video, image, webpage or location as an overlay
  • Can add actions to make overlays interactive
  • Auras can be shared via email or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Photographs can be taken of the auras created

Educational Weaknesses of Aurasma

  • As far as I can tell, auras can only be viewed on mobile devices with Aurasma app
  • Aurasma Studio is not very user friendly for people who aren't comfortable exploring technology
  • Users must enter an email address to have an account
  • Some of the overlays available on the app may not be elementary child appropriate
  • User must be of "a legal age to form a binding contract" in order to set up an account

Educational Uses of Aurasma

I can see there being several ways to use Aurasma within my school:

  • Similar to the example article below, students could create a video that can be watched on an iPad when the trigger is activated.
  • Teachers or students could create a scavenger hunt throughout the school by linking auras to triggers. The aura could be a clue that leads the children to the next trigger. The students would use iPads to access the clues.
  • Students could create their own auras either by using the overlays on the app or creating their own overlays using Aurasma Studio. They could create photographs of the overlays to add to their blogs, insert into text, or make posters.

Example of a school using Aurasma

Aurasma Studio

I tried to use Aurasma Studio to create an aura. I chose a trigger picture and video overlay. I couldn't figure out how to share the aura however so I posted a picture of the process.