AR in the 2018 Yearbook

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CHS’s yearbook department has always been known for their incredible designs. From pages to layouts, the staff finds new things to add every year, and this year is no exception. This 2017-2018 volume will be incorporating augmented reality within the book’s pages.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two very different things. While virtual reality builds a false world around a person, augmented reality places computer generated images into the real world. Most high schoolers actually use AR on a fairly-regular basis. Anyone who has ever used a Snapchat or Instagram filter or has played Pokemon Go has used augmented reality. These apps project digital images into the physical environment, augmenting the world around it.
Since AR has become so prevalent in today’s society, technology has improved to make AR accessible to almost everyone. Through apps known as Aurasma and AR, these interfaces allow the staff to create more technological layouts that go beyond the book. Simply by holding up a camera on a phone to the pages, viewers will be able to interact with videos, view extra photo galleries, and even see animations. They may seem like simple, extra details, but in reality, it is quite the burden to bear. Including AR in this volume has taken the work of the whole team, not just one or two people.
The yearbook staff have actually been planning on incorporating AR for two whole years now, but due to the workload, they have not been able to until just now. One of Yearbook’s Editors-In-Chief, Elizabeth Wu, has been making sure this volume is sure to include it.
“Most people think that when you join Yearbook you just go around taking photos, but that’s actually not true,” Wu said. “We were [initially] really unsure if we could incorporate it because it’s a lot more work…like, Editors-In Chief are editing stories and spreads, photographers are taking photos, staff members are doing spreads, business is doing business; so who’s going to do AR?”
Thankfully though, this year, the department has got the AR working in full swing. It is a huge feat for just one person to carry, but with the work divided properly, the staff has managed to pull it off. It has been a long time coming, especially since the idea of AR was introduced to the staff two years ago during a summer Yearbook workshop.
“Two summers ago they showed us augmented reality through the app Aurasma,” Wu said. “Our past Editors-In-Chief were really interested in it and were planning on incorporating it into the book. But then, halfway through the year they decided not to because they couldn’t handle it. This year though, we really really wanted to do it, so instead of chickening out like our last year’s Editors-In-Chief, we stuck through with it and did it.”
It takes hard work and dedication to pull off creating elements in AR. But with its addition to the book, this year’s volume is sure to be gorgeous in both reality and its augmented form.

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