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Campus Tours Could Soon Be A Little Different

Stephen Biernacki

Read this short post on intelligent object recognition on Mashable (then come back!). If you work at a college or university, specifically in Admissions, you had to be thinking “campus tour!” immediately after reading that. We all know the campus tour is designed for the prospective student to get a “feel” for the campus, and that’s of the utmost importance for sure, but being able to learn a little extra here and there along the way through the use of technology would be a huge plus. Not to mention giving off the impression of being quite tech savvy to potential incoming freshmen.

Imagine a student walking up to your basketball arena and seeing its seating capacity, when it was built, or when the next event being held there is – instantly. Students walking up to the library and seeing statistics on total books on hand, hours its open, or even real-time information like how many computers are currently available in the computer lab. The technology and potential is simply awesome. Maybe at the beginning of each tour session you hand everyone an iPod Touch or an iPhone, if they don’t already have one. Everyone is connected via your on-campus Wi-Fi network. And if the information really comes from Wikipedia, as is speculated in the article, you’ll certainly need to be sure that it’s accurate! Of course, in the example of finding out the number of open computers in the lab, gathering real-time information from Wikipedia isn’t going to work, but who knows what kind of integration ability with other systems will be available when this finally appears. Now I feel like I’m entering the year 2020 here… but it gets better.

Apple has already filed a patent for this, but I’ve seen a somewhat related and a more advanced technology in video games. Specifically, in augmented reality games. My friend sent me the below video courtesy of Georgia Tech and SCAD-Atlanta, where you play a game on your touch-screen enabled device, yet physically, you’re revolving around a map on a table. It gets even better, as you’ll see about 2 minutes into the video, when the gamer starts blowing up real Skittles in the game.

I can’t really see a way (yet) to use that crazy technology to help your college or university in the recruiting process, unless of course your Georgia Tech who’s helping to develop it, then you can promote the heck out of it! The idea I really wanted to get across in this post is not just that technology is always changing (that’s a give in), but that it might just be far more advanced than you think it is. I know when I first watched the video above I was absolutely blown away and would have never thought that to be doable. So keep your eyes peeled for the latest and greatest, because you just might be able to utilize it on your campus sooner than you expect.

The idea I really wanted to get across in this post is not just that technology is always changing (that’s a given), but that it might just be far more advanced than you think it is. I know when I first watched the video above I was absolutely blown away and would have never thought that to be doable. So keep your eyes peeled for the latest and greatest, because you just might be able to utilize it on your campus sooner than you expect. Look! I already found more augmented reality goodness in an Advertising Age article: Your phone is a mouse.

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