One of the things which makes me so excited by Niantic and their Lightship release is Niantic’s focus on using augmented reality for good — starting with the fantastic goal of getting people out and about. As their CEO, John Hanke, said in this WIRED article, he got into the idea of “using digital tech to reinvigorate the idea of a public square, to bring people off the couch and out into an environment they can enjoy”. I love this so much and honestly hope that Lightship helps many many new AR apps bring this same energy.
So my thought was — wouldn’t it be neat to have a thread of AR for Good? If you’ve seen something (doesn’t need to be Lightship) which uses AR to better the world, share it here to help inspire other devs. You never know where that inspiration will lead!
One study used both VR and AR headset concepts to simulate what it’s like to have glaucoma:
In the augmented reality task, participants navigated a real-life, human-sized ‘mouse maze’, which they viewed through cameras in the front of the HMD.
Sensors in the HMD tracked the position of the participant’s eyes, allowing the software to generate a blurred area of vision, known as a ‘scotoma’, that obstructed the same portion of their visual field, wherever they looked.
The scotoma was created using medical data from a real glaucoma patient, and either restricted vision in the upper part of the participant’s visual field, or in the bottom part. In ‘control’ trials the scotoma was absent.
The thing I loved most about this concept is that this AR just might help improve our real world directly too — they say “We are now working with architects to explore whether sight-loss simulators can be used design more accessible buildings and transport systems.”
How neat is that?!?