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MAR 05 2021
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Tip of the Month - March 2021 - Using Augmented Reality Apps to motivate communciation

Posted by: Jessamy Bell & Shauna McCabe in Tip of the Month

Posted in Tip of the Month

Using Augmented Reality Apps to Motivate Communication 

What is an Augmented Reality (AR) app? 

Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a physical real-world environment with superimposed computer-generated images. AR adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone or tablet. Examples of AR experiences include Snapchat lenses and the Pokemon Go game. Whereas, Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. Using VR devices such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard, users can be transported into a number of real-world and imagined environments such as the middle of a squawking penguin colony or even the back of a dragon. VR normally requires wearing a headset, whereas AR apps are normally accessed while looking at your smartphone or tablet screen.


How to use an AR app to motivate communication 

Screen time can be an interactive engaging activity or it can be a passive experience. The aim of this activity is to motivate communication, rather than having downtime or a break on an iPad or phone. In order to ensure this activity continues to be a ‘communication’ interaction here are a few recommendations:

  • Download an AR app – see ideas below.
  • It is essential that the communication partner maintain control of the device while playing the app and not let the individual have access to the app. If the individual is busy pressing, tapping and swiping, then they are less likely to be motivated to communicate during the activity. Try holding the device in front of the individual and encourage them to tell you what to do (rather than letting them touch the screen). This slight shift in control allows individuals to explore new apps using the power of their communication to make exciting things happen on the device.
  • Take turns - with the people you are playing the app with. E.g. “you want play? who turn? my/your turn, I want play, not your turn, you wait”
  • Make choices - choose a character, place or experience according to your app. You might not have the specific vocabulary on your communication system, so you can use describing words E.g. instead of using the word ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ you could say “I want blue one”. 
  • Communicate - Pause, comment on what is happening and have a laugh! E.g. “I like this, I want play again, play different, I need help, problem, that silly, I feel happy/sad, it (character) feel happy/sad/hungry/bored”. Try to use a range of language functions while playing, e.g. commenting, describing, requesting, asking and answering questions, giving and following instructions, taking turns. Remember, you don’t need to find every word you are saying on the communication system, just focus on the key words. These are the most important words. You can still speak a more ‘full’ sentence out loud, while pointing to symbols for the key words. So you might verbally say ‘I like it’, but just point to/press the ‘like’ symbol, until you feel confident to join 2 or 3 symbols together.
  • Motivation - Is the individual excited about the app? Communication needs to be fun and motivating to be worth the effort.  If the AR app you download is not a hit, try something else!
  • Take your time! Don’t rush this activity. Spend lots of time chatting about what is happening, commenting on what you think or how you feel about what is happening in the app. Use lots of expectant waiting to encourage communication about the activity.
  • Give it a go…and the most important thing to remember….. have fun TOGETHER!

     

App ideas

  • Devar AR – make choices about which characters (cute dragons, space robots, historical figures and other interactive characters) to meet, where to travel (across time and space) and comment on what you see. https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/devar-augmented-reality/id1362103568 
  • Holo - lets you add holograms of real people and animals into your world and take photos & videos to share with friends
  • Just a Line from Google - lets you make simple drawings in AR, then share your creation with a short video. Draw on your own or with a friend, then hit record and share what you made.
  • Stickman AR - is an augmented reality puzzle game where your drawings come to life in a 3D world. https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/draw-a-stickman-ar/id1453706634
  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eighti.holo.android
  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arexperiments.justaline
  • Harry Potter Wizards Unite - is the real-world AR game inspired by the Wizarding World that puts magic in the hands of players worldwide. Read or listen to the books. Talk about the magical creatures you meet in the app and how you will solve the mystery of The Calamity and keep magic safe from Muggle eyes. https://www.harrypotterwizardsunite.com/
  • Colour Quest AR - Colour your favourite character, press the magic button, read a fun health fact, and see your new creation come to life and dance in front of you in AR https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/color-quest-ar/id1435974934
  • Pokemon Go – meet, catch and battle Pokemon. Describe what they look like, what their quality and strengths are, where you’d like to look for more Pokemon.
  • Ask your friends and family if they have a favourite or Google search top free AR apps and try something new!
  • https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/pok%C3%A9mon-go/id1094591345   
  • AR Dragon - Hatch and care for your own unique dragon. Help baby dragon grow into a fully-grown virtual dragon buy feeding, playing and caring for it. Talk about what to do next with your dragon and comment on what is happening and how your dragon is feeling.
  • https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/ar-dragon/id1270046606 and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.laugh.ar.dragon&hl=en
  • Civilisations AR app from BBC (great for older students and adults who don’t want to play character games) - Explore a virtual collection of over 30 historic artefacts from around the world. Treasures include an ancient Egyptian mummy, Rodin's The Kiss from the National Museum of Wales, iconic sculptures and paintings. Bring realistic, to-scale artefacts from history into your own home using AR. Move, scale and rotate the collection, allowing you to become the explorer. Use the magic Spotlight to reveal audio guides and special features. Discuss what you see, ask questions, take turns choosing which treasure to look at next, where to read about it/listen to facts about it/look inside it with the x-ray.
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/taster/pilots/civilisations-ar
  • Gamar AR Treasure Hunt - check out this blog on how to create a treasure hunt around your property. You can make the clues easier or more cryptic, just stay in one room or hide them all over the property!  https://www.gamar.com/blog/how-to-create-an-augmented-reality-treasure-hunt/10
  • Quiver AR app - an interactive colouring-in experience. Print out their free colouring in pages and colours them in, then hold your device over the page to watch the character come alive! You can interact with the character by touching the screen and then take photos or videos and there are even NZ animals to choose, colour and interact with (Kea, Hectors Dolphin, Yellow-Eyed Penguin, Kiwi, Giant Weta and the Tuatara). http://www.quivervision.com/    

Please note that TalkLink do not endorse or recommend any of the apps listed but provide them as examples of apps that can be used to motivate communication.

To download this Tip of the Month as a PDF, please click here 


Created by Jessamy Bell and Shauna McCabe (Speech Language Therapists) May 2020


Using Augmented Reality Apps to Motivate Communication 

What is an Augmented Reality (AR) app? 

Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a physical real-world environment with superimposed computer-generated images. AR adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone or tablet. Examples of AR experiences include Snapchat lenses and the Pokemon Go game. Whereas, Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. Using VR devices such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard, users can be transported into a number of real-world and imagined environments such as the middle of a squawking penguin colony or even the back of a dragon. VR normally requires wearing a headset, whereas AR apps are normally accessed while looking at your smartphone or tablet screen.


How to use an AR app to motivate communication 

Screen time can be an interactive engaging activity or it can be a passive experience. The aim of this activity is to motivate communication, rather than having downtime or a break on an iPad or phone. In order to ensure this activity continues to be a ‘communication’ interaction here are a few recommendations:

  • Download an AR app – see ideas below.
  • It is essential that the communication partner maintain control of the device while playing the app and not let the individual have access to the app. If the individual is busy pressing, tapping and swiping, then they are less likely to be motivated to communicate during the activity. Try holding the device in front of the individual and encourage them to tell you what to do (rather than letting them touch the screen). This slight shift in control allows individuals to explore new apps using the power of their communication to make exciting things happen on the device.
  • Take turns - with the people you are playing the app with. E.g. “you want play? who turn? my/your turn, I want play, not your turn, you wait”
  • Make choices - choose a character, place or experience according to your app. You might not have the specific vocabulary on your communication system, so you can use describing words E.g. instead of using the word ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ you could say “I want blue one”. 
  • Communicate - Pause, comment on what is happening and have a laugh! E.g. “I like this, I want play again, play different, I need help, problem, that silly, I feel happy/sad, it (character) feel happy/sad/hungry/bored”. Try to use a range of language functions while playing, e.g. commenting, describing, requesting, asking and answering questions, giving and following instructions, taking turns. Remember, you don’t need to find every word you are saying on the communication system, just focus on the key words. These are the most important words. You can still speak a more ‘full’ sentence out loud, while pointing to symbols for the key words. So you might verbally say ‘I like it’, but just point to/press the ‘like’ symbol, until you feel confident to join 2 or 3 symbols together.
  • Motivation - Is the individual excited about the app? Communication needs to be fun and motivating to be worth the effort.  If the AR app you download is not a hit, try something else!
  • Take your time! Don’t rush this activity. Spend lots of time chatting about what is happening, commenting on what you think or how you feel about what is happening in the app. Use lots of expectant waiting to encourage communication about the activity.
  • Give it a go…and the most important thing to remember….. have fun TOGETHER!

     

App ideas

  • Devar AR – make choices about which characters (cute dragons, space robots, historical figures and other interactive characters) to meet, where to travel (across time and space) and comment on what you see. https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/devar-augmented-reality/id1362103568 
  • Holo - lets you add holograms of real people and animals into your world and take photos & videos to share with friends
  • Just a Line from Google - lets you make simple drawings in AR, then share your creation with a short video. Draw on your own or with a friend, then hit record and share what you made.
  • Stickman AR - is an augmented reality puzzle game where your drawings come to life in a 3D world. https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/draw-a-stickman-ar/id1453706634
  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eighti.holo.android
  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arexperiments.justaline
  • Harry Potter Wizards Unite - is the real-world AR game inspired by the Wizarding World that puts magic in the hands of players worldwide. Read or listen to the books. Talk about the magical creatures you meet in the app and how you will solve the mystery of The Calamity and keep magic safe from Muggle eyes. https://www.harrypotterwizardsunite.com/
  • Colour Quest AR - Colour your favourite character, press the magic button, read a fun health fact, and see your new creation come to life and dance in front of you in AR https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/color-quest-ar/id1435974934
  • Pokemon Go – meet, catch and battle Pokemon. Describe what they look like, what their quality and strengths are, where you’d like to look for more Pokemon.
  • Ask your friends and family if they have a favourite or Google search top free AR apps and try something new!
  • https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/pok%C3%A9mon-go/id1094591345   
  • AR Dragon - Hatch and care for your own unique dragon. Help baby dragon grow into a fully-grown virtual dragon buy feeding, playing and caring for it. Talk about what to do next with your dragon and comment on what is happening and how your dragon is feeling.
  • https://apps.apple.com/nz/app/ar-dragon/id1270046606 and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.laugh.ar.dragon&hl=en
  • Civilisations AR app from BBC (great for older students and adults who don’t want to play character games) - Explore a virtual collection of over 30 historic artefacts from around the world. Treasures include an ancient Egyptian mummy, Rodin's The Kiss from the National Museum of Wales, iconic sculptures and paintings. Bring realistic, to-scale artefacts from history into your own home using AR. Move, scale and rotate the collection, allowing you to become the explorer. Use the magic Spotlight to reveal audio guides and special features. Discuss what you see, ask questions, take turns choosing which treasure to look at next, where to read about it/listen to facts about it/look inside it with the x-ray.
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/taster/pilots/civilisations-ar
  • Gamar AR Treasure Hunt - check out this blog on how to create a treasure hunt around your property. You can make the clues easier or more cryptic, just stay in one room or hide them all over the property!  https://www.gamar.com/blog/how-to-create-an-augmented-reality-treasure-hunt/10
  • Quiver AR app - an interactive colouring-in experience. Print out their free colouring in pages and colours them in, then hold your device over the page to watch the character come alive! You can interact with the character by touching the screen and then take photos or videos and there are even NZ animals to choose, colour and interact with (Kea, Hectors Dolphin, Yellow-Eyed Penguin, Kiwi, Giant Weta and the Tuatara). http://www.quivervision.com/