The Augmented Tarot
The Augmented Tarot is an augmented reality tool designed to assist users with their understanding of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. When the camera sensor on a smartphone is pointed at any card in the Rider-Waite deck, an overlay instantly appears that provides annotated information on noteworthy iconography and symbolism present in the card. This utility is not aimed at interpreting the card for the user, but rather at helping to unpack some of the various esoteric imagery and interconnected themes used throughout the deck as a means of assisting the user with their reading. Tarot reading is often accompanied by a guidebook of some kind, and the Augmented Tarot is designed to circumvent this by working alongside the indexical nature of the tarot to create a seamless, intuitive experience.
Reading the tarot resembles something closer to an online wiki than a linear, print-based work, and this application serves that logic by replacing a traditional guidebook with a more immediate tool. While this project serves a practical purpose through its implementation of a streamlined apparatus for learning the tarot, it also serves as a potential framework for the digital annotation of non-traditional texts. In this sense, the Augmented Tarot operates much like the medieval book wheel, a writing technology that serves as a means of working with multiple texts at once.
Download the Aurasma application and follow the channel “augmented_tarot.” Standalone Mac and PC application coming soon.