Augmented Reality - Digital Promise

Augmented Reality

In this section, you’ll investigate the potential of emerging technologies like Augmented Reality to design interactive experiences that bring digital content into the real world.

  • Identify community needs and related SDG(s) that could be better understood or solved;
  • Visualize and define the use case;
  • Prototype your design

Augmentation can take any form – from a tour of sustainable practices in your own living space, to an experience of a natural environment or phenomenon. Consider these questions as you think about what you want to create and how you want to capture people’s attention and engage them in meaningful ways.

Guiding Questions

  • What do I need to know about the issue I’ve chosen and how it affects my community?
  • How do I communicate about my topic using augmented reality (AR)?
  • Who am I creating for?
  • What is the impact I want my project to have?
  • How do I want them to experience it?

Your media could take any form, from narrative to documentary to experimental. Consider how elements like video, audio narration, and 3D graphics could be included.

Sample Augmented Reality Apps and Tools

The tools listed as beginner and intermediate below can also be used for complex creations, or can be great starting points for those new to creating interactive experiences.


  • Adobe Aero (iPad and iPhone) – Design and share augmented reality experiences using assets you’ve created in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or images from phone or desktop.
  • Artivive – A platform where artists build can combine analog and digital art.
  • Cospaces – Web-based application for easy-to-build AR and VR
  • Hoverlay – A platform that lets you create, link, and share digital twins of your art, products, or yourself.
  • Echoes– A tool for creating and exploring immersive geolocated experiences.
  • Snap Camera – A tool for creating lenses to add to live streams and video chats.
  • Torch – A tool for building Web AR apps.


  • ARKit – Apple’s augmented reality (AR) platform for iOS devices enables developers to produce apps that interact with the world.
  • ARCore – Google’s platform for building augmented reality experiences enables your phone to sense its environment, understand the world and interact with information.
  • Spark AR – Facebook’s Spark AR Studio for Mac & Windows enables creation of AR effects for mobile cameras.
  • Lens Studio – A real-time tool for creating Snapchat Lenses that allows you to create Face Lenses (front camera experiences) and World Lenses (rear camera experiences).

3D Modeling Tools

  • Blender – A 3D creation suite that supports modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing motion tracking, and more.
  • Sketchfab – A platform to publish, share, and discover 3D, VR and AR content that allows users to display 3D models on the web, to be viewed on mobile browsers, desktop browsers or VR headsets.

Explore How Others Have Used AR for Social Impact

  • Miami Murals – A Climate Mural Inspiring Change through Augmented Reality. See a feature of the project on the PBS News Hour.
  • Movers and Shakers – A nonprofit that uses augmented reality to highlight underrepresented narratives. We create educational content for schools, cultural institutions, and the people.
  • SDG Butterfly Effect – An initiative of the SDG Action Campaign supporting personal commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Snapchat for COVID-19 Relief – An augmented reality donation experience using Snapchat Lenses to bring awareness to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

Part Three: Act

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