nl en

Our Future with Augmented Reality


Disclaimer: due to the coronavirus pandemic, this course description might be subject to changes. For the latest updates regarding corona virus, please check this link.

Topics: Augmented Reality, Speculative design, Human-Computer Interaction, Digital prototyping.
Disciplines: Media Technology, Human Computer Interaction, Psychology.
Skills: Researching, Analysing, Generating Solutions, Project-based working, Digital skills, Written communication, Societal awareness, Reflecting, Independent learning, Resilience.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.


How will Augmented Reality shape our experience of the world? How do you design and develop meaningful AR applications? And how does this relate to the hype that is the metaverse?

We’re in the middle of a transition to spatial computer interfaces. Virtual Reality technology is becoming mature and applications in e.g. training, therapy and education are moving from experimentation to implementation.
Augmented Reality is more complex and still has its technical challenges to overcome. But with the amount of resources being put in the field, it can be expected that in the next five to ten years Augmented Reality will become a main way of interacting with the digital world.

It's hard to overestimate the effects this development will have on ourselves and our society.
AR headsets will allow engineers to get on-the-job support from experts on the other side of the world. AR glasses could instantly translate texts in other languages, or caption conversations. And medical staff can be presented with the right medical information needed to make a decision.

But the rise of AR also brings more philosophical questions. Will we still be able to distinguish reality from fiction? What kind of privacy issues will come up from wearing sensorheavy AR glasses? Is it okay to organize a massive AR game tournament in public space? And what does it mean to be smart in a world where AR headsets help us with our daily activities?

In this course we follow the methods of speculative design. We discuss the questions above and try to form a vision for the future. You’re challenged to transform this vision into a small video game or an Augmented Reality prototype.

Course objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • have a basic understanding of the technology of Virtual and Augmented Reality;

  • have an overview of (possible) applications of Augmented Reality;

  • have gained basic coding and digital design skills to build 3D prototypes;

  • have analyzed the possible effects of VR & AR on the ways humans learn and solve problems;

  • have identified ways in which these new computer interfaces will affect aspects of our society;

  • have become familiar with methods of speculative design;

  • have written a meaningful exploration of our future with Augmented Reality;

  • have combined the skills and knowledge above to create a speculative design of our future with Augmented Reality.

Programme and timetable:

All sessions will be on Tuesday evenings at 19:00 - 21:30.

Session 1: 4 October 19:00 - 21:15
Experiencing Virtual & Augmented Reality + getting to know each other

Session 2: 11 October
Skills Lab: creating interactive 3D worlds

Session 3: 18 October
AR state of the art: technology and applications

Session 4: 25 October
The future of AR technology

Session 5: 1 November How will AR affect ourselves and our society?

Session 6: 8 November
Guided working on essay assignment

Session 7: 15 November
Presentation & group discussion on essays

Session 8: 22 November Skills Lab: speculative design

Session 9: 29 November
Skills Lab: speculative design

Session 10: 6 December
Guided project work

Session 11 13 December
Guided project work

Session 12: 20 December
Final project presentations


PLNT Leiden, Langegracht 70, 2312 NV

Reading list:

For this course we will read parts from:
David Rose - SuperSight
Andy Clark – Natural-born Cyborgs
Thomas W. Malone – Superminds
Doug Engelbart – Augmenting Human Intelligence

Other possible literature will be announced in class or via Brightspace.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • Lectures: 10 physical lectures of 2.25 hours = 22.5 hours

  • Literature reading and asynchronous online courses: 22.5 hours

  • Practical work: 10 hours

  • Essay assignment: 35 hours

  • Final project: 45 hours

  • Public final event: 5 hours

Assessment methods:

The assessment methods will look as follows:

50% Essay. Topic: how will AR affect our lives and our society? Minimum 2000 maximum 3000 words.
Deadline: 15th of November

50% Project. Speculative design on our future with Augmented Reality. This prototype is based on ideas cultivated in the essay.
Deadline 20th of December

It is not required to successfully complete all partial exams in order to pass this course. Students are allowed to compensate a ‘fail’ (grades up to and including 5.0).

The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the class.

Brightspace and uSis:

Brightspace will be used in this course. Upon admission students will be enrolled in Brightspace by the teaching administration.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Registration process:

Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 15 August 2022 up to and including Thursday 1 September 2022 23:59 through the link on the Honours Academy student website.

Note: students don’t have to register for the Bachelor Honours Classes in uSis. The registration is done centrally before the start of the class.


Robin de Lange +31 6 1195299