SmARt Talks: exploring the possibilities of augmented reality

Image | Arts Santa Mònica

The dictionary defines “reality” as the “real and effective existence of something”. Nevertheless, throughout history millions of people have questioned the concept of reality as we know it. Is what we perceive through our senses really there, or is it a fictitious world created by our minds? Theologians, philosophers, writers and scriptwriters have sought to reflect on the particularities of reality, and not even Science has produced an established conclusion of what is and what is not real.

In the end everything depends upon our personal impressions and whether, as individuals, we believe what we are seeing. Thus, advanced technological systems featuring virtual reality or augmented reality are as real as one wants to believe they are. Unlike virtual reality, which completely submerges the user and his senses in synthetic surroundings, augmented reality adds an audiovisual “extra” to everyday objects, superimposing elements to create a twofold, much more complete reality. Virtual objects can contain text, animation, images, videos, sound or 3D, and their uses are versatile, dynamic and innovative.

What are the applications of augmented reality and, perhaps more importantly, what will they be in the future? Augmented reality is a still fledgling technology whose possibilities have not even come close to being fully developed; thus, now is the time to study its potential and find a way for all citizens to benefit from it. This is the mission of SmARt Tertúlies, an activity organized by InCom-UAB (Institut de Comunicació de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), produced by Arts Santa Mònica, in collaboration with Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the Clúster Audiovisual de Catalunya and the Fundació Forum Universal de les Cultures.

SmARt Talks: exploring the possibilities of augmented reality

Image | Absolut Inspire

On 6 and 7 November from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm researchers, specialized professionals and citizens will be able to reflect, at Arts Santa Mònica, on the role of augmented reality in the industrial world and the educational sector, respectively, through discussions and workshops fully open to the public. Augmented reality: innovation and knowledge is the approach to a technology that will soon change reality as we know it.

Thursday 6 November: Augmented Reality and Industry.

Sergio Grau Carrión and David Reiffs will present the applications of augmented reality in the industrial sector, proceeding to conduct an experiment with the attendees and a software demonstration.

Friday 7 November: Augmented Reality and Education

Isidro Navarro, of the Universitat La Salle Campus Barcelona-Universitat Ramon Llull, will reflect on the applications of augmented reality in the educational sector through hardware like Google Glass and Oculus.

Those interested in attending SmARt Tertúlies will need to fill out a registration form in order to be able to participate in the activity.

Augmented reality is not a parallel reality, but rather one more layer of knowledge that enriches the reality that we already know. Perhaps the people of tomorrow will reflect on a new reality, condensed into an all-encompassing whole, but until that day comes there is still a long way to go. Meanwhile tools like SmARt Tertúlies will make that journey shorter.