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Emerging Technology


Augmented reality is all around us. In this (growing) tutorial, you will see how to create your own AR objects and place them into the world around you. 

Augmented reality (AR) is already present in your life! Consider your last Zoom call. Did you add a filter to hide your boring office? That is AR -- a blend of reality (in this case you) and a filter or lens. 

Do your kids spend time on Snapchat? Snapchat's "lenses" encourage their users to use Snapchat as "a virtual mirror and gaze into it 30 or more times per day." Snap AR estimates that there have been 3.5 trillion lens views and 75 percent of its users are using AR in the app. Some big-named companies are developing lenses specifically for Snapchat to allow customers to virtually try on clothing or glasses or get makeup tips or simply to promote their brand. 

And remember the Pokemon craze? People of all ages using their phones to locate digital objects in real spaces? You guessed it: AR. 

But AR has deeper implications on how we shop, how we communication, and how we learn. Can you imagine a world where you fix an appliance by holding your phone over the item and see exactly where the button or belt or whatever needs replacing or pushing is located? This technology is in the works. 

And AR isn't all about what is on your phone. There are apps that bring you information about the natural world, letting you point and see the mountain names in the nearest range or identifying stars and constellations.

Merge Cube

Through the associated apps, Merge Cube provides a cool "marker" to display AR content ranging from the anatomy of the eye to dinosaurs. The platform is education-based and offers in-app purchases after the trial period. 

Find instructions for making the printed Merge Cube here: 

The app used in the video was Merge's Object Viewer. 

It is possible to browse for a free 3D model in SketchFab, download it to your device, and upload the ZIP file to your Merge Dashboard to use on the Merge Cube. 

Halo AR App

With the Halo AR app you can quickly and easily create your own AR projects! 

Halo AR is available from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store for Android devices. 


  1. Find two objects -- like books! -- and decide which will be your "marker" and what you want to be the overlay. 
  2. Click the "Create" button in the app to start the process. 
  3. Take a photo of your marker and crop as desired. 
  4. Take a photo of your overlay. 
  5. Tap the right-arrow in the upper-right corner and you will be prompted to add a collection name and the name of your project. 
  6. Once finished creating, click on the "Scan" button at the bottom of the app to test your work. 

Library Projects with AR

  • Read-alikes
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Escape room games

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New Hampshire State Library.