The World of Augmented Reality Content and its benefits to Neurodiverse individuals

The World of Augmented Reality Content and its benefits to Neurodiverse individuals

Did you know that should a child be read a book every day that by the time they are 5 years old they would have explored the worlds of 1825 books and stories?*

Did you know that some of the benefits for children to start reading young include improved cognitive development and language skills, better attention and concentration as well as preparation for success in school, as well as building a general love for reading?

But what about children who have additional needs or learning difficulties which make it hard for them to read, but who deserve the chance to enjoy the experience and benefits books and stories can bring as much as any other child?

This is where the new world of Augmented Reality comes in!

There were many inspiring and thought-provoking topics and new concepts spoken about at London Book Fair and one that really stood out was when Pamela Aculey Kosminsky, Founder and CEO of MIXD Reality and proud mother to her amazing son who was diagnosed with Autism and was non-verbal, took to the stage at the Tech Theatre to talk about the business she created that she wished had existed – ‘MIXD Reality - the UK’s first dedicated provider of interactive and inclusive augmented reality experiences!’

With a goal to create Inclusive Literature and to have books born accessible – MIXD reality partner with publishers to turn books into augmented reality. Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that enhances the user’s perception of the real world by overlaying digital content onto the physical environment. AR Technology can work with all published materials and with the help of an app turns books into a who new digital experience of animation, interaction and sound. 

The 3 Key Features of AR Technology include:

  • Visual – bringing the printed content to life and enhancing it by placing your phone or tablet over the page
  • Audio – introducing sound and music
  • Interaction – AR allows its users to explore the content whether that be turning 3D objects and characters or solving puzzles etc.
MIXD Realitys talk at LBF24

When it comes to introducing this new technology to those with additional needs it has proved to be very successful particularly when being introduced to picture books for neurodivergent individuals. Neurodiversity describes how each person’s brain is unique and different in how it learns, experiences and processes information. Some examples of neurodiverse conditions include ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia as well as many others, and it is estimated that around 15% of people in the UK are neurodivergent.

It only makes sense that we find ways to make the amazing content we have out there accessible so all users can benefit from it! With the introduction of AR Technology into children’s books and learning materials parents and teachers have already seen a change in the way neurodiverse students understand facial expressions, practice their social skills, pick up new vocabulary and generally increase their ability to concentrate and pay attention. It has also allowed parents to have the same bonding experience that others would have when reading a book with their child.

By introducing AR Technology into content, publishers are able to create real-time immersive learning that bridges the gap between traditional and virtual reading and gives the reader more value as well as promoting and supporting inclusivity in literature giving everyone the same chance to succeed.

Of course, with all new technologies there are things that need to be considered such as glitches or lagging which can cause distraction, viewer comfort such as eye strain or headaches from the screen and also the fact that it requires a mobile phone or tablet and there is the worry of protection of personal information.

Overall though this seems like a positive step forward in making content accessible and inclusive for all. Having worked with neurodivergent candidates ourselves we know first-hand what great employee’s neurodiverse candidates are – they are visual thinkers, great with detail, innovative, have great energy as well as so much more! In our continued effort to celebrate our neurodiverse talent we have also shared a piece on how to attract, interview and retain neurodiverse talent also.




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