Our Hope for AR – Discovering fossils, geological features and more

Mimas is currently working on some exciting Augmented Reality (AR) projects, one of which is the creation of an AR field trip for geology students.

Working with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Faculty, and the Museum at the University of Manchester, this new Discover Geology project (aimed at MSC students) should give us a fantastic example of how AR can enhance a fieldtrip and develop an experience that can also benefit the public.

Students can unlock hidden information using hotspots via the AR application on their smart phone, providing hidden gems of data about the surrounding area.  Another fascinating element is that information can be found on areas of the landscape that no longer physically exsists!

The idea is a simple one – develop a field trip within the Hope Valley using AR. To ensure the project is simple too, we’ve enlisted the help of our usual mixed team using their relevant skills and expertise:

  • Dr Ian Hutt, Adele Aubrey, Stephen Wheeler and Stephen Davies, the Project Manager and E-learning Specialists within EPS at the University of Manchester
  • Matt Ramirez, Lead AR Developer at Mimas
  • Dr Stephen Boult, our academic lead (School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences)
  • Stephen Devine, Multimedia Developer at the Manchester Museum
  • Laura Skilton, a little bit of project managing at Mimas but mainly poking video cameras in front of people and writing blog posts!

The current activities for the project are storyboarding and the collection of the relevant resources needed to develop the experience. By pulling together the mixed team throughout the process we are ensuring that what we develop is achievable, technically possible, content rich and of course a useful tool for the students.

If you want to know a little more about how the experience will actually work, take a look at this short video of Ian describing the user journey.


As the project progresses we’ll keep you updated via this blog.

If you’ve read this blog you may also be interested in the AR Landmap experience.

2 thoughts on “Our Hope for AR – Discovering fossils, geological features and more

  1. Colin Buchanan (@ColinJBuchanan)

    Hi. I love the concept, having been involved a lot in recent years with QR codes for, e.g. Treasure/scavenger hunts. A lot of the time I have used an off-line solution, scanning for text clues, because of uncertainty of Internet access. So there’s the question: how crucial is the project’s success reliant on Internet access?

    1. Matt Ramirez

      The Geology project is dependent on internet access, although we are looking at an offline app solution for environments where network signal is a problem. In the Hope Valley we were fortunate to receive a better than average connection in nearly all stages of the trail. For those networks that suffered with lack of signal, users could tether to devices with good connection speeds.


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