Blog: Amplify

Augmented Reality and Your Foundation

I recently gave a presentation and created an infographic that shared what I learned about conducting a financial analysis of a nonprofit. I passed out copies of the infographic for those that couldn’t make the initial presentation, but realized they could have benefited from more than what was shared on the page. Was there a way to augment the printed image without disrupting the design? 

Ideally, I was looking for something that would provide additional content, perhaps with the use of a smartphone. Having previous experience with augmented reality, I thought this might be an ideal solution. I went searching for a free and uncomplicated tool that I could use on my phone and found an app called Aurasma, which allows an image to be augmented by adding a video or another overlay once the trigger image is scanned (introduction). I’ve provided four ideas below to use augmented reality to innovate your organization’s current communication strategies: 

1.    Board materials. For those who compile vast amounts of information for the board, think about using augmented reality to reduce paper usage and provide immediate access to supplementary content.

2.    Annual reports. Consider using augmented reality to tag images in the report with video or infographics to get your point across.

3.    Project reports and summaries. Consider using augmented reality to make these documents innovative enough so that they don’t gather dust on a shelf. In addition, you can provide easy access to lessons learned from previous work that can improve grant work going forward.

4.    Conferences. Use Aurasma to add additional information to the display board for conference sessions. As an example, attendees can use their smartphones to scan a session display board to learn more about the background of presenters. 

If you would like to see a video of this technology in action, check out my phone’s screen recording. What you’ll see is the phone scanning a photo that serves as a trigger image. Within a few seconds, you’ll see an infographic that is superimposed on the photo.  

In conclusion, it would be interesting to see foundations take advantage of today’s smartphone capabilities. If you want to learn more about augmented reality and how it is currently being used, contact your foundation librarian.

Sophia Guevara is the chair of the Consortium of Foundation Libraries affinity group

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