HP Reveal

Categories: Augmented Reality
Availability: Browser, iOS, Android
Uses: Engagement, Creativity, Augmented Reality, Facilitate Discussion

What is it?
HP Reveal, formerly Aurasma, is a free application for creating augmented reality experiences. Augmented reality (AR) is the result of augmenting real objects with digital objects such as images, video, audio, etc. Typically, you would point your mobile device camera at a real world object such as a building and see additional information or media superimposed on this object on your device’s screen, in real time.

Many AR apps focus on marketing opportunities, pointing your camera at a pair of football boots which triggers a video advertisement of the boots, but there is huge potential for AR in the field of education.

How can I use it?
Using AR in your classes with an app like HP Reveal provides a range of opportunities. Lecturers can make posters or objects interactive by adding an overlay of additional details. For instance, a lecturer who has artefacts on display in the classroom can make each an aura, triggering an image or video of this artefact in its original context. Virtual tours of sports facilities, lab equipment, etc. can create a more immersive environment for students. In addition, lecturers can also provide context specific information on demand for a variety of subjects, particularly with practical subjects.

Students can create interactive posters for projects or presentations, allowing people to get further information or delve deeper into the process involved in some aspect of the project. Students can also bring history to life for projects or presentations, turning an image of a historical figure from a textbook into an interactive presentation.

The easiest and quickest way to get set up using HP Reveal is to download the app from the App Store or the Play Store. You can then create a free account using your email address and choosing a username and password.

To get started:
  • Open the app on your mobile device
  • Click the + button at the top right of the screen to create a new Aura (the name for these has not changed since the app was originally called Aurasma).
  • Take a picture of something near you
    • The picture needs to be lit well, there is an indicator that goes green when the photo is good enough to be taken
  • When you take the photo you will be asked to choose an overlay for the image.
    • You can choose from HP Reveal’s library of overlays (including images, animations, etc) or you can select an image or video from your device
  • Click to add the overlay
    • You will be prompted to change the size and position of the overlay on your original image. You can choose to have the image pop up in a corner, for instance, or to take up the entire screen
  • Give your Aura a name and click Submit
    • By default the Aura will be stored in a private folder. You can choose to make this public (to other Aura users) and to create a new channel for this
  • Click Done to test your Aura or share to send this to others
  • Back on the main screen you will see a blue icon at the bottom of your screen with a square in the middle. Click this and point your device’s camera to the object you took a picture of earlier in these steps.
    • When HP Reveal recognises the object it will trigger the overlay image/video

Why should I use it?
AR offers endless opportunities to create engaging and interactive learning opportunities for your students. From scavenger hunts to virtual tours, interactive posters to immersive learning environments you can easily add layers of information to real world objects to engage your students and help to foster deeper learning and facilitate understanding.

AR can help students to develop their creativity and increase their motivation, allowing them to learn in new and interesting ways. It can encourage critical thinking and reflection and can promote active learning for students of all ages.
Top Tips
Some errors have occurred when syncing information between mobile and browser based versions of HP Reveal so you may find that you will stick with one version for creating and sharing your Auras. The mobile app seems to be more intuitive than the browser version in terms of creating and saving Auras.

HP Reveal/Aurasma was a leader in the field for a long time but it can be a bit buggy which can throw off people. If you find this is the case for you don't be discouraged, it's worth looking at similar apps for AR such as Zappar and Layar.

Where can I find it?
Unless otherwise stated, all reviews and recommendations are solely those of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organisation, including Cork Institute of Technology. The Department is not responsible for any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content viewed or accessed through the tools and products reviewed.