Thursday, 24 April 2014

The best augmented reality apps for science

As the name suggests, augmented reality (AR) enhances how users perceive the actual world. Images of the real world are overlaid with a virtual world made up of text, video, or audio. 

It's a brilliant tool to use with kids - what's more exciting than seeing your surroundings come to life in a way that's impossible to replicate in the real world?

Below, you will find four of Creative Teaching and Learning Blog's favourite virtual reality apps. They're all science related, but can be adapted to a wide range of subjects for use with students of all ages and abilities.

Which are your favourite?

Anatomy 4D
Price: Free
Available at: iTunes and Google Play
This Anatomy 4D app eliminates the need for an anatomy lab. To use the app, print out the target and point your Anatomy 4D app at it. This target is also automatically available to print through the app itself via a wireless connection to the nearest printer. Looking at the target image through your app, you will be able to see a detailed 3D model of the human body and view various biological systems, turning them 'on' and 'off' with the touch of a button. In this way, students are more easily able to understand the interrelationships between bodily systems. 

Price: Free
Available at: iTunes and Google Play
Aurasma is classic AR. Just point your tablet’s camera at an image, object, or place, and Aurasma will give it an 'aura' composed of rich media in the form of animations, text, videos, 3D models or web pages. It’s perfect for general science-related exploration (such as nature walks) for which there may be no specific app. You and your students can also make your own 'auras', allowing for much creativity and enjoyment.

Star and Planet Finder 
Price: Free 
Available at: iTunes
This app literally outdoes the traditional school trip to the planetarium by guiding students through stars, planets, constellations and satellites. It’s easy to use. Students simply choose a planet, and move their tablet according to the pointer display. Detailed information (diameter, mass, range) then appears. The app also has a number of other features, including automatic time sync, moon phase display, a compass, and an accelerometer. 

Price: Free 
Available at: Website
Featuring a cute alien, Scimorph is designed for younger students. Kids discuss and solve scientific-based problems by guiding Scimorph through different experiences. For example, the 'Gravity' activity zone helps students determine why Scimorph feels different in space. The site offers detailed instructions for printing and using AR markers. Since marker images are a key part of every AR resource, it’s a great introduction to AR in that respect. What’s also great about Scimorph is that it provides a companion with whom kids can become (in the words of the app developers) 'social adventurers'.


  1. I think virtual reality will have a bigger impact on the world than anyone can imagine. Reaching from the economy to evolution. I don't think the world is ready.

    Interactive virtual reality

  2. thanks for the list of applications. I used all of these applications. They are stunning. If you want to quickly teach your children chemistry just take Chemistry app. We love this app. Even adults enjoy combine blocks and collect elements. I believe that the use of augmented reality in education will help children learn the material quickly and easily understand new materials. DO you still doubt whether to use augmented reality for education?. See more here.

  3. Excellent list, I will test new applications for myself. In general, I understand that the technology of augmented reality carries a huge influence on the sphere of education. After all, children are more interested in learning and they easily remember new information. I recommend reading the detailed guide on the role of technology in education

  4. Augmented Reality is presently being developed as a result of its quality in existence, with increased Reality you may have a tool inbuilt to your prescription spectacles that permits you to run to figure or catch a train while accessing your emails and water sport the net viewing all this through your the spectacle lenses.
    Augmented Reality