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That's 5 Augmented Reality Project Ideas!

Betty Dannewitz of the "If You Ask Betty" podcast joins me to talk about what she knows best -- augmented reality. In this episode Betty talks about her journey into becoming one of the leaders in using AR tech in the field of instructional design. She gives some awesome ideas for AR projects that you can make right now using Zappar, and how to pitch the tech to your boss or your client. She also gives a special shoutout to her student Anuradha (Ann) Gopa for her creative AR Employee Rewards Card.

You can connect with Betty on LinkedIn or at


The following transcript was auto-generated and may contain typos or spelling errors.

Leslie Early 0:00

Okay, today I am super excited to have my guest Betty Dannewitz from If You Ask Betty, an awesome podcast out there for all you listeners, in case you haven't heard of it, but I'm sure you have. Thank you so much for joining me, Betty.

Betty Dannewitz 0:14

Hey, thanks for having me. I'm excited.

Leslie Early 0:17

So, I mean, you're kind of like the AR guru out there kind of on on the social media on the interwebs, I definitely see your name associated with a lot of AR XR stuff. So that's kind of what we're going to talk about today. If you don't mind.

Betty Dannewitz 0:35

You know, I don't mind at all.

Leslie Early 0:37

I thought you wouldn't mind It's seems to be a favorite topic of yours. So I guess if you want to take a couple minutes and kind of give a little intro or kind of talk about how you sort of got into this, and and you know, how you became the expert out there on this?

Betty Dannewitz 0:55

Sure. I'll give you the short version. So I have been in learning and development for about 17 and a half ish years, which is a really long time, by the way. And anyways. So, so yeah, so I've been doing this for a long time. And a couple years back in 2018, which feels like it was a lot longer ago than it actually was. I actually went to my very first Learning Conference realities 360. And went there with the intention of learning about augmented reality we had at my employer at the time a senior learner of one of our senior leaders, that sort of looking for one of our senior leaders had asked us to incorporate innovation, something innovative, maybe something like augmented reality. So at first, I was like, well, let's Snapchat like I work for an insurance company, how am I gonna? What am I gonna do with face filters, and it sounds like we need to learn more about this. So went to reality. 360 and I went to an all day session industry hildenbrand taught an all day session on that you basically how to how to get started with augmented reality. And quite frankly, I completely fell in love with it, just head over feet, like, Oh, my gosh, this is so amazing, because I could see this massive potential behind this, behind this piece of technology. So I went back to my current employer and just, you know, work to implement it. I could have had it done in six weeks. But in the corporate world, it took more like six months.

Leslie Early 2:31


Betty Dannewitz 2:32

I know, y'all know what I'm talking about. So we rolled it out. They loved it, it fueled my fire. And a year later, I was back at that same conference realities 360. In 2019, telling my story about how I went the previous year learned about augmented reality, went back and rolled it out. And so from there, I have just continued to learn more about it, teach more people about it. And it's really an awesome platform to get out there and talk to people about thinking differently about how we design learning, because I think we get it, right, we get in this groove. Oh, okay, here's your learning, okay, well, it's either going to fit into elearning, or it's going to be a webcast or a virtual learning, or, you know, pre COVID, it's going to be in person. But there are so many other options. And so what I have found is that augmented reality is really an excellent tool. It's not the tool, it's a tool in your toolbox is part of your blended learning solution. It adds engagement, it adds sparkle. And it also is a great way to curate content and extra resources for your learner.

Leslie Early 3:39

Interesting. Um, so you so you've been doing this for? So you said 2018?

Betty Dannewitz 3:46

Yep. I've been in love with augmented reality for two years.

Leslie Early 3:49

Okay, so that's really inspiring. Yeah, very inspiring. Because it's like, you know, you've come a long way and just a couple of years and and now you're the point where you're teaching and training other people on how to use these tools. So that actually is like pretty inspiring. And you know, this is very doable, very achievable. And kind of available to anybody, right, with a little bit of interest. So that's very cool. I did want to kind of try to focus in on because you said you took this back to your company and had some ideas about how to implement it and how to kind of make this a reality. So I guess I was trying to focus on how do we make this practical, how do you take an idea like this or this type of tool back to your, either your clients if you're a freelancer or to your company, and sort of make a realistic pitch for it, you know, like this, and we can really, really use.

Betty Dannewitz 4:57

sure one of the one of the pieces We talk about in the elearning launch first launch AR cohort is building a business case to then take back, like you said in pitch to your employer, and there's a couple of key components to it. One, you have to make sure they know what augmented reality is. Not just give them a definition, but actually create prototypes, so that as you're talking about it, they are experiencing it. So that's first thing, you got to make sure they know that second, you got to make sure they know how quickly it's being adopted. So I think it's important to drop some statistics, it's important to drop some, some white paper information, right, and there's plenty of it out there. And also to know how it can impact your business. So for example, Julie Dirksen recently put out a research paper on AR and VR for behavior change. And so you can pull information from there and say, Okay, look, we want to change the behavior of our employees. This is how this technology can help us advance that. So I think that's important. And then you've got to have good working prototypes, my recommendation is five, that will show different ways that augmented reality can enhance the learning solutions that you already have. Most often, those are going to include using augmented reality to curate content, like videos or handouts, or interactive job aids or have links to website that will help folks do their job and do their job. Well.

Leslie Early 6:32

Can you get like if if you have this on the top of your head? But do you have like, I'm just trying to visualize, okay, what would be five different prototypes that I could even think of? Like, I've I've seen the business card, the interactive business card before, but beyond that, like, Sure, I don't have like, the imagination is sort of picture how this might be applied? Sure,

Betty Dannewitz 6:59

Sure, let me give you five free ideas. Okay, so one would be in an augmented reality experience that provides information through a menu. So let's say you have some sort of topic that has multiple facets, that you want them to be able to take bite by bite, you could create an augmented reality experience that delivers that in a menu fashion so that they can self serve as they as they are ready to. It can also link into other things. So for example, one of the things that we one of the augmented reality experiences that we created was around our diversity and inclusion, employee resource groups. So at the end of the experience, you could choose a resource group, and it would move you through the process of signing up to be a part of that group. So there's definitely that. So that's one way. Another way is just to deliver a piece of information in a different modality. So let's say you would typically have this in a virtual classroom, and it's time to play a video. Well, for the last three hours, you've been talking playing a video breakout room talking playing video breakout room, well, you could deliver the next video through augmented reality, so that they take their eyes off their computer screen, they pull out their mobile device, which by the way, they love, they love, they love it, I'm holding my phone.

Leslie Early 8:18

She is.

Betty Dannewitz 8:21

And you can use, you can have them experience that through their own mobile device, harnessing the power of that blue light that's coming off their phone, making them love it even more. So that's one way. That's the second way. Another way would be to create a scavenger hunt. We did this when we had it back when we had in person training. I feel like that was so long ago. It feels like it was so long that we created many of those sort of share a video through augmented reality experiences around the office. And then for new hires. They had to go around with their mentor, go through the experience, and then answer a question that would get them a clue. And then all the clues added up to something that would make them be the winner. So there was an element of there was an element of competition. So that's another one. You can also do what I call magic message, magic messaging, which is, you know, if you wanted to deliver information to employees on a regular basis, because I use I use app works for AR so because that works is easily updated. You could have this, this code that they print out and keep on their desk. So same code, and every Monday could call it Monday, magic messages. Every Monday, they come in, they scan it and they get a new message. So maybe it's a something from one of your leaders. Maybe it's a video message or an audio message from a leader. Maybe it's just a pop up window. It could be a quiz, which is going to be my next thing that I'm going to tell you is that you can create branching scenarios so that you could quiz people through AR so that's another way so we've got Magnetic Messaging and then I would say the quizzing is always fun. We did an in person game that was based loosely on the game Candyland. There's a trivia game. And if you remember correctly with, with Candyland, there's like the lollipop or the little dude. And like, if you land on the little gingerbread Dude, you can go forward or backward. So those particular cards that had the funny little characters on it, those you got to receive your question in augmented reality and answer your question through augmented reality. So it was just a way to sort of add another sense of dimension to it. I think I gave you five. Yeah. Okay, good.

Leslie Early 10:43

I wasn't counting. But that seems that seems right next to you like a handful. Yeah. Yeah, now that I listened to you talking, and I, oh, I just spoke with a client the other day who there were responsible for doing training and a lot of hospitals here in the Twin Cities for when COVID all the all the CDC regulations were changing, like every day, right, like 24 hour turnaround time of getting out these new regulations to like, multiple hospitals in the metropolitan area. And I'm thinking they had to they got they used handouts, job aids, but wouldn't it be great if the job aid had the little the code on it, right? And then you have to just scan it. And it's going to show you now a video of how to properly put on PPP, PPP, excuse me, or how to correctly wash your hands. And now we all kind of know that stuff. Like that's common knowledge. But at that time, it was like, a big deal.

Betty Dannewitz 11:51

And I'll do I'll do you one better. What if that code was on the back of their employee badge? And every day when they come to work, they could scan it to see if there's any new information dates?

Leslie Early 12:01

Wow. Yeah. Then they don't even have to wait for the handout to come out. Right. Wow. See, I knew you'd have these. I knew he would, he would take it the next step. That is so cool. Yeah, very cool. I can see the potential in something like that. So any company really could have a badge or a little card or something that employees hold on to that risk is updated regularly. Very quick. I do have an int. I am curious, because you are teaching this now. So one of the fun things about being a teacher is that you're constantly constantly being surprised by your students. So have you. Have you seen like creative applications coming in that you hadn't even thought of? For? Yes, from your students?

Betty Dannewitz 12:51

Yes, we've, so far, I've had one full first launch AR cohort. So that's like, brand new to the whole idea. jumping in and we create four experiences for your portfolio plus you create a business plan to pitch to whoever it is. And some of the stuff that came through that first set, the creativity is amazing. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I never thought about that. And now granted, I've only been doing this for almost three years. But the technology hasn't been around all that much longer, at least not for learning that it hasn't been really adopted in the learning space. So So yeah, so we've seen some really cool stuff. One in particular, one student Her name is anew, she came up with the coolest employee reward card. And I will, I don't know where I don't know how I can make sure Oh, I'll get it to you. And you can figure out how to get it to your people. So people can experience it. But absolutely amazing. Great work. really creative and something that you could take back and apply to your business today.

Leslie Early 13:59

Yeah, I'd be really interested in seeing that. Yeah. Cool. Um, so yeah, I think I think you're right, like, this hasn't been around for very long, right, like this. I mean, I guess it has been around for a while, but not like, in popular culture, really. Except maybe marketing. Yeah, marketing. Some games, you know, Pokemon GO was 2016. So that was like four years. So I would say, four to five years is like when people really started. This started to really explode. But, um, but that, that means there's just a lot to discover. Sure. That's really exciting.

Betty Dannewitz 14:44

And, I mean, let's think about how old is elearning or the idea of an online learning module. What do you think? It's got to be 30 years old?

Leslie Early 14:55


Betty Dannewitz 14:57

And we're still finding new exciting ways to use it. I mean, I'm using I'm being very liberal with the word exciting, but you know what I mean? Like, we're still finding new ways to keep it engaging. And we're just, you know, we're just barely past 10% of that lifespan with with AR. So it's it's a new frontier for, especially for learning and development. And it's scary to folks because they don't understand it, they don't think it will apply. I had a guy that was in my class, Dan hurt. And he was a full on skeptic at the very beginning. He was like, This is ridiculous. This is a ridiculous toy, I'm never going to need this. And at the end of it, not only did he go on to the advanced class, but he said that he is a true believer in AR Yeah. And so it's it's something that can open your eyes and really make you think differently, not just about the augmented reality you're designing, but your overall design process and plan will change once you see some of the the possibilities.

Leslie Early 15:59

Yeah, this is sort of a little, a little, a little to the left of what we're talking about. But have you looked into other mixed reality or virtual reality or anything like that? Are you just sticking to AR right now. And that's kind of what you're into?

Betty Dannewitz 16:19

Well, I do I write a blog for a write some blogs for motive, which is a VR company. So I definitely interested in virtual reality. I am hoping to offer a session where we can teach people how to do easy drag and drop maybe 360 video type of virtual reality by the end of the year. So I am dabbling in that a bit. Mixed reality. Part of the advanced class includes a little bit of mixed reality. So how are we getting the outside world to interact with, with or interacting with what is in the augmented reality experience? So? So yeah, so the answer is, yes.

Leslie Early 16:58

Yes. All of that. Because yeah, I just, if I had more time, I really want I want to dive into it more. But like you said, it is a little intimidating. It's hard to know where to start.

Betty Dannewitz 17:14

But the thing is, just to start, just start just read about it, learn about it, talk about it, socialize it, start creating it. I mean, with zap works. You can you have five free zap codes, so you can create five free experiences and get started right away.

Leslie Early 17:33

Very cool. All right. Well, I guess you know, you've given some pretty good tips and some free ideas for people out there if they do want to get started. But if people would like to connect with you, or learn more, what's the best way to get in touch with you?

Betty Dannewitz 17:51

So you can find me on LinkedIn, probably actively on it, because I'm mildly obsessed with it, which I'm fine with. You can definitely find me at if you asked Betty calm, it's all one word, all lowercase. And then also, if you go over to elearning, launch calm, you'll see the AR courses that are available, including the self paced one that's super cheap. One thing I really like about doing classes through elearning launches, we get to make it really affordable for people. So my first AR is what it's called. And you know, it's $49. And you get to create your first experience, and then you'll know exactly what you need to do for the next one. So

Leslie Early 18:30

And I hope I really do want to get on into one of your cohorts that starting so you're starting over again, right, like, you just finished the advanced one.

Betty Dannewitz 18:41

We'll start the first launch coming up January 14. It'll be on Thursdays, and there's five, a five week commitment. And then right after that, we'll start advanced.

Leslie Early 18:52

Awesome. Yes, I need to get it on my list of things. Yes. All right. Well, maybe I'll see some of the listeners in that cohort, then. Yeah, we'll see how it goes. All right. Well, thank you again, so much, Betty for joining me.

Betty Dannewitz 19:08

Thanks so much for having me.

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