A vibrant future: augmented reality and colouring books


Augmented reality is forever stepping up its game and this time it has found another way into the creative world, but this time it’s all about colouring. 2015 was the beginning of an increasing awareness for mindfulness, with over 3 million copies of mindfulness colouring books for adults being sold that year. And following the success of this colouring craze, we soon found a rise in colouring apps – removing the need for a flat surface and an entire tin of pencils.

But whether you found yourself on the side of technology or good old fashioned art supplies, it was clear this was a trend that was going to stick.

So where to next?

After mindfulness colouring books, calendars, diaries and more, it was only a matter of time before we saw the next big step. Today I saw an advert on Instagram for an augmented reality colouring app, allowing users to ‘scan’ real world colours and use them in the app. Pretty cool, right?

There’s more…

It turns out Disney’s Switzerland-based research team had been exploring ‘active creativity’ in 2015, creating technology that brings children’s colouring pages to life through augmented reality. There doesn’t seem to have been much of an update on this from them, but they published a paper on it and the video showing their early work is impressive.

Something that perhaps started off as a project to get children being more creative in an active way (as there are claims that colouring books are now too ‘boring’ for the modern child), has become an educational tool thanks to QuiverVision. Families can download colouring pages and watch their creations pop up before them.

But what amazes me is seeing how Quiver aren’t just creating 3D models of what’s on the page, they’re giving images life. There’s a great advert of the sheep with a football actually scoring a goal; something I’m sure children imagine when they’re busy designing their characters.

Making a name for themselves in the augmented reality colouring department, they’ve also made educational packs of downloadable colouring pages. Including topics such as biology and geography, children can now colour in an animal cell and learn about the different parts as it comes to life with 3D labels.

The future?

Whilst it may be a while before we see this technology rolled out across our schools, you have to admit it’s really cool and a thousand steps ahead of grubby whiteboards and coloured markers that often ran out.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for augmented reality in the art and educational worlds. It would be incredible if we could get to a stage where you could have a blank page that enables users to draw and colour their own unique creations and watch them come to life. Any thoughts?

Photo by Mia Baker on Unsplash.

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