Daqri's 4D Cubes Use Augmented Reality To Teach Kids The Periodic Table ...

  • The worst part of high school? Most kids might say having to read The Scarlet Letter, or puberty. (I enjoyed both, thank you very much.) But arguably the most boring aspect was memorizing the periodic table--and all its damn elements, symbols, and atomic numbers. Now one Los Angeles company plans to spice up the periodic table, Hollywood-style.Today augmented-reality startup Daqri unveiled Elements 4D, a set of interactive blocks that aims to help students learn the properties of hydrogen and oxygen in a more visual, educational, and entertaining way. Rather than offering a flat page of elements in a chemistry textbook, Elements 4D brings the periodic table to life through augmented reality.Elements 4D combines physical and digital experiences. The actual product is a set of six wooden blocks, each engraved with periodic table symbols. Hold a tablet in front of the blocks and watch them transform into their digital augmented reality. On screen, the blocks appear as transparent cubes, with relevant information in plain view (atomic number, mass, and so forth), as well as a representation of the elements' physical properties.The most clever and fun part of the service is that these element blocks can be combined, enabling students to witness chemical reactions in real time. For example, a student can bring a "hydrogen" block together with an "oxygen" block, and when they touch, in the augmented reality iPad view these two elements magically combine to form water--you can even see it sloshing around inside the digital cube.

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