Augmented reality and virtual reality tools have grown in use over the past five years for educational purposes inside and outside the classroom. But, Turnbull told StateScoop, it’s only recently that local agencies have taken advantage of those technologies via platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. And while those are mostly for fun, he said, the goal of the AR Developer Challenge will be to create tools for the public good. An AR tool might be used by a tourism department, for example, to show the historical significance of a building or natural monument, or by a doctor to perform a remote assessment on a patient.
Turnbull said participants will receive guidance from his organization’s network of engineers and developers about what AR is and how to judge it. Each selected community will receive $20,000 from Facebook to host its event and award prize money to winning submissions; each community is expected to match its $20,000 with cash or resources.