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Augmented Reality (AR) Workshop

Collaborating across boundaries

An Amazing Experience

After getting home from UX Strat (read about that here), I was given the chance to help out with a workshop for 8 students from China, and their professor. Utah Valley University hosted them from a Chinese University (ZUST) in a content capture and project creation experience with augmented reality. We travelled down to Capitol Reef in Utah to gather the content and assets that we would be using for the project. We were able to help the students learn more about photography and practice taking lots of photos as we explored Capitol Reef. We also practiced painting with watercolors so that they could use that in the final project if they wanted a more traditional look.

The group of Chinese students standing on a rock

The Chinese students posing on a rock

Chinese students looking at photography instructors phone while she teaches about photography.

The students learning about photography

It was difficult to know how to connect and communicate at first. Most of them spoke some English, but the levels of ability to speak and understand English varied and I found it enjoyable to try and figure out how I could communicate with them. Over time, I was amazed by their kindness and the relationships that we were able to build despite the lack of verbal communication. Building these good relationships is what allowed us to collaborate better throughout the entire project. And of course we had a lot of fun and ate a lot of amazing food! That always seems to help!

All of us eating food that the chinese students had cooked. It was amazing!

Eating dinner that the chinese students made

A bowl of delicious pork and veggies that they made for us!

A bowl of pork and rice that I loved!

After getting home from Capitol Reef, we started organizing assets and learning how to use Zapworks, a tool for creating augmented reality projects. The goal was to create a postcard that would be much more immersive than a traditional postcard. Using design tools such as Illustrator and InDesign each student started laying out their postcard that would be printed. This printed postcard would then be used as a template where the augmented reality experience could be initiated. Using Zapworks, each student then decided what they wanted to share in Augmented Reality. They could include a slideshow of multiple photos, video, and even 3D photos that we had gathered. Some students made multiple postcards for different stories and experiences. Zapworks would use the printed postcard as well as a special “zap-code” to initiate the content specified for that experience. We all had an amazing time connecting and creating together and when they asked me when I could come visit them in China I felt so happy!

I think the most powerful lesson that I learned from this experience is that the ability to connect and create is universal, and we don’t need to speak the same language in order to build together. There is so much that each of us has to offer the world, so let’s be open to the possibilities!


If you want to check out the postcard I created, download the zapworks app.

Then download a copy of this image. After you have both, scan the image with the zapworks app. You can scan it on your computer screen, or after printing it out.

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