We are heralding a new era of Personal Computing, the age of eXtended Reality (XR), where virtual and physical realities become one. This affects the way we learn, and the Open University is proudly leading on the development of a reference implementation of an Augmented Reality training system, MirageXR, drawing together research of the past decade at the OU and partner institutions to push the envelope of how we learn in the real world – at scale.
Today we saw the achievement of a major milestone, the stable release of version 1.2 of MirageXR, which is available for download on Hololens 1, Hololens 2, Android, and iOS upon request.
MirageXR is both authoring tool and execution engine for standards-conform (IEEE P1589-2020) Augmented Reality learning experiences. With version 1.2, support for iOS is added, an interface to the popular 3D platform sketchfab is provided (giving access to millions of 3D models), a tutorial is now built in, Moodle access is now available, and a lot more (see release notes for the full list):
- Extensive work to bring the Mirage-XR tool to mobile devices – much of the previous work focused solely on development for AR headsets. The system is now adapted to mobile use, massively extending its reach and accessibility.
- Significant user-interface upgrades, following a more structured design philosophy, improving the usability and clarity of much of the app.
- Flexible branding – with minimal effort, the tool can now be rebranded to suit specific implementations.
- Sketchfab library and the use of 3D models – we recently implemented a link to Sketchfab, giving access to hundreds of thousands of models, which can be downloaded and placed in to the room with a few clicks.
- One of the most exciting new elements is the ability to embed AR learning activities into established learning management systems, providing a link to Moodle which allows educators to create activities (using AR technology) and deliver it to their students via existing channels.