What is A.R.T.?

Do you know what A.R.T. is? I am going to go on a limb and say no, you don’t, but that’s perfectly fine because by the end of this article you will have a better understanding of what the acronym means. So to start let’s begin with examples of what A.R.T. is not. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster is art but not A.R.T.. A.R.T.. is short for Augmented Reality Technology. A.R.T. or by its other name AR is a communications tool, and it is defined as “a technology that mixes the real environment with the virtual, is registered in three-dimensions, real-time, and interactive “(Liao and Humphreys 1). So by definition the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel is not A.R.T, however A.R.T can manipulate these pieces and others like it.

So now that we know what is A.R.T the next valid concern would be when did this sort of technology arrive? And to answer that question we have to acknowledge a quick time line from which every communication instrument developed.

For instance: papyrus a plant based cloth deriving from the 1350-1400 century, which acted as a form of paper, fast-forward to 1440, with the invention of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press which kick starts the manufacturing and distribution of written media. After the printed word has been in circulation for over 450 year comes Mr. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, who placed the first call on March 10, 1876(America library). With such amazement within 24 short years later in the early 1900’s there was “1 telephone subscriber per 10,000 people in the USA” (Ling & Donner 34). 15 years later as the telephone industry is growing in “1915 there was 1 phone per 1000 people in the USA” (Ling & Donner, 34). In 1947 the Engineers at Bell Laboratories came up with the concept of the “cellular idea,” which give us the term “cell phone,” (Farman, p. 16). In the year 1973 Martin Cooper (Motorola CEO) made the ‘world’s first’ call on a portable, hand-held cell phone (Goggin 29). 1983 Motorola released its first handheld mobile phone in the United States (Farman 17). In the year 1993 IBM and BellSouth first showed Simon, the first smart phone (times). On May 1, 2000, President Bill Clinton opens civilian access to GPS signals (Farman, pg. 19), in which allowed developers to create technologies such as Augmented Realities. In Early 2000s, Access to Internet, voice and text communication, location-awareness, and data retrieval from the internet offered change in which we spatially interact with others and with cultural objects (Farman 19). Furthermore just to put things in perspective June 29, 2007 the first generation iPhone was released (Crunch Base). In 2009 “Layar is a mobile AR browser that first launched and is the largest mobile AR platform with more than 33 million downloads. The company also reports over 1 million downloads a month” (Liao and Humphreys 6). The

So this brief timeline shows the evolution of technology and leading up to present day’s Augmented Reality Technology. Companies such a Google and Microsoft fabricated devices such as Glass and Hololens, that has dissolved or still in beta testing. These designs are advertised to be worn on your head covering the face however there is a simpler way to experience A.R.T. and the equipment needed is most likely within arms reach; your cell phone. The application “Layar” is available on several popular market places (Google Play, iOS App Store, Blackberry World) and works by displaying “points of interest (POIs), user-created annotations, or graphics based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) location of the device and orientation of the built-in camera, compass, and accelerometer” (Liao and Humphreys 2). It is amazing that as little as 600 years man as been able to innovate develops and communicates information of all types to each other across the globe in the matter of seconds, all within the palm of our hands. Now being able to virtually alter how place is perceived is the next chapter of this journey.

The Augmented Reality Technology is available and it’s open for the general public to experiment with and anyone with a smart device and an Internet connection can use the service. However, what makes Augmented Reality Technology great is the ability that users [can] creating content on Layar in ways that communicate about and through place, which shapes their relationship and interpretations of places around them. Interpretations, is the feature that sticks out the most, thus allowing groups of like minded people to expand on a given topic.

For instance first, participants such as Sander Veenhof described it as a feeling of empowerment: “I feel more in control. I feel like if I don’t agree with anything I can reshape it for those in my own imaginary world.” This feeling was not limited only to when they used the technology, but also altered their perception of place across future contexts and settings. (Liao and Humphreys 9).

As for my input about the arguments reality programs I played with Layar app on iOS, and I found it to be very interesting that I get the scanned products and potentially learn about them however I felt as if all the items I scanned we’re not found in its database this could be due to its infancy or the product they have never been recorded but I am very excited to see where this technology Will take us.

Works cited

Aamoth, D. (2014, August 18). First Smartphone Turns 20: Fun Facts About Simon. Retrieved February 1, 2015, from http://time.com/3137005/first-smartphone-ibm-simon/

Farman, Jason. (2012). “Historicizing Mobile Media: Locating Transformations of Embodied Space,” in N. Arceneaux & A. Kavoori (Eds), The Mobile Media Reader. New York: Peter Lang. P. 9-22.

Goggin, Gerard. (2006). Cell Phone Culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. London: Routledge. Chapter 2, 19-40.

IPhone. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from https://www.crunchbase.com/product/iphone

Liao, T., & Humphreys, L. (2014). Layar-ed places: Using mobile augmented reality to tactically reengage, reproduce, and reappropriate public space. New Media & Society, 2014, 1-18.

Ling, Rich and Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Mobile Communication. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Chapter 2, p. 30-48.

Papyrus. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/papyrus

The First Telephone Call. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/recon/jb_recon_telephone_1.html


2 thoughts on “What is A.R.T.?

  1. Your digital essay does a good job drawing the reader into the text in an interesting way. I found it enraging the way that you tied “A.R.T.” and “art” together by telling how they can relate to each other, after they were introduced as being possibly confused, then significantly different. I think that you tied media history in with augmented reality well. I also believe that Sander Veenhof’s quote towards the end of your piece does a good job giving insight to peoples connection with augmented reality technology.

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