The average scientific publication is not the most palatable of reading materials, especially to those not in the relevant disciplines. Yet, conveying scientific concepts easily is precisely what scientific publications are meant to do. Imagine what the use of video pictures/paintings as depicted in the Harry Potter movie series can do to make things easier!
While the fantasy of moving photos/pictures does not exist physically in the real world, just as Santa Claus cannot travel the world today without being shot down by anti-missiles, there are some shadows of reality in this idea. Apart from the popular Instagram app where short video clips can be used as video pictures, other technology in the form of Augmented Reality (AR) can make this “magic” a reality in communicating challenging scientific concepts in an interesting and attractive manner.
Utilized in popular game apps like “Pokemon Go”, AR can also be used in scientific publications to illustrate biological structures and concepts. With animated AR, the typical scientific paper can masquerade as published research from Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
While the use of AR had been gaining traction, mostly towards video games, education and entertainment, AR has yet to penetrate fully into scientific publications where it can play an important role to address the difficulty of squeezing three-dimensional (3D) ideas into the traditional two-dimensional (2D) graphics on screen/paper.