Category: Augmented Reality


AUGMENTED REALITY IN PLAYING CARDS For centuries, playing cards have used illustrations and text to convey messages.  While these attributes continue to serve a purpose with modern-day cards, Augmented Reality is redesigning the way we play card games, use playing cards, and learn new information. AR adds a visual element to enhance a playing card’s function.  Images and descriptions may be limited to the types of cards you are trying to create.  For example, an AR application will suit decks that showcase demonstrations, athlete highlight reels and trivia/educational games.

The History of Computer-Generated Reality

While AR was not labeled the official term until 1990, the journey to its development was actively tested many years prior. Technology introduced in the 19th century and beyond paved the way for today’s AR and VR devices. AR and VR history dates back to the 1838 Stereoscope. This gadget required a pair of 2D images to create an augmented 3D image. But that was just the beginning. The 1929 Link Trainer Flight Simulator and the 1938 View-Master contributed to future tech advancements. The Trainer simulated airplane movements and the latter allowed users to experience various 3D visuals when peering through a portable stereo lens. During the 1960s, headset designs launched. These consisted of motion-tracking features with the 1961 Headsight and sense simulations with the 1962 Sensorama and Motorcycle Simulator. But the first VR head-mounted display, which hung from the ceiling and presented real-life graphics, was Ivan Sutherland’s the Sword of Damocles. Flash forward to the 21st century, where it’s likely that you have heard of or personally used these AR and VR devices: the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, Sony’s VR headset and more.

Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

The origin of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is clear, but the distinction between the two gets muddled. The main difference that sets them apart is that AR displays a live view of virtually implemented elements.  This means that your real-world setting has interacting, layered images present.  Now with VR, your environment is not the background.  Instead, it transports you to a different “world” that is as real as climbing Mt. Everest or as imaginative as exploring the inside of Hogwarts.

Redefining Playing Cards

AR and VR have changed the way that we use playing cards today. This technology has seeped into our daily lives, impacting our gaming experience, education, etc. Here are some examples of this captivating function for playing cards.
  • Demonstration Cards: We recently manufactured a deck of cards for a Boy Scout troop in California.  This sparked an idea to customize a deck of cards with 52 tips to use during a camping trip.  Right now, we are working on adding AR to the mix, where each card will include a digitally demonstrated tip. This is a great hands-on lesson for visual learners.  Rather than reading a description and attempting to mirror the practice, this AR experience will be accessible and simple.  All you need is an electronic device and the designated card deck.
  • Trivia Cards: Shuffled Ink is working on implementing AR into your playing card games.  Trivia challenges are an entertaining way to test your knowledge of facts about various topics.  These trivia cards featured below use video highlight reels to reveal the answer to the printed question.  This new wave technology provides the card’s answer through an informative and exciting visual element.
For example, if the question on the card is “What is the common name for the Beatles’ self-titled double LP?” then clip montages and voice-over elements will detail the answer: the White Album.  This is an intriguing factor in what a playing card can capture, create and convey.

Augmented Reality in Playing Cards

All of these AR videos fall under a demonstrative and informative category.  The AR experience involves more than just pictures and text; we now have video and audio to bring it all to life. About two years ago, we wrote an article on the future of playing cards and what that may look like.  Augmented Reality was one of our suspected installments. We are happy to have worked with clients who wish to use the AR element.  This has transformed playing card opportunities and added a technological outlet for custom playing cards, card games and flashcards alike. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Tarot Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: ShuffledInk


HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED THE WAY WE USE FLASH CARDS Students are constantly relying on flash cards to study, but they aren’t the only ones who benefit from this valuable learning tool.  Generally, flash cards are associated with multiplication tables and definitions, but they certainly expand beyond just that. At Shuffled Ink, our clients have created customized flash cards with QR codes and Augmented Reality implementations.  You may remember your parents flipping through flash cards with pictures and words for your educational benefit.  It was simple and successful.  So, naturally, the introduction of technology-instilled flash cards further the effectiveness of learning.

QR Codes:

These audio-enhanced flash cards, known as Linguacious, developed an innovative way to learn languages. Geared toward children, an image of the designated word is displayed with a QR code.  Upon scanning the code with your phone, you will hear the pronunciation of the word in the targeted language.  Here is a visual of the fronts- and backs- of these game-based vocabulary flash cards.

Augmented Reality:

A flash card’s sole purpose doesn’t always reside in the classroom. Whether you are reading the newspaper or talking with a friend, you are exchanging information and learning something new. Technology is endlessly advancing and, with that, Augmented Reality has entered the flash card and playing card world. This relatively new term, Augmented Reality, is an interactive experience enhanced by our phones, where computer-generated images are layered on top of our real-world environment. Think about the multimedia messaging app Snapchat.  When you are taking a photo of yourself and use one of the many Snapchat lenses to place virtual sunglasses on your face, you are using Augmented Reality. But Augmented Reality can take on many different forms.  In relation to flash cards and playing cards, we have found a way to link the image on a card to a video.  So, once you place your phone over the target image, a video layers directly on top of the card and will play.

More Learning Tools:

Deaf Education:

These “Sign Me Cards” are designed for children, family and friends to learn basic American Sign Language with flash cards.  This is beneficial for deaf children to easily and accessibly learn how to communicate with others.  The cards have also been known to impact children with other disabilities like cerebral palsy who struggle with verbal communication skills.

Creative Storytelling Cards

Character cards box sets are known to provide ideas that assist with improvisation, storytelling, playwriting, pantomime and creative writing.  This allows for the mind to think outside of the box when crafting a story that involves characters with various occupations, personalities, mannerisms and more.

Employee Training

Creating PowerPoint slides and conducting meetings are not always an effective route for some business settings.  Flash cards utilize repetition to encourage time management, communication skills, risk management, etc.  This reiterates the expectations that an employer has for their employees and vice versa. If a student uses flash cards to study for an exam, then it will similarly benefit an employee who is studying on-the-job training tactics.

Redefine Flash Cards

Our clients’ abilities to design and customize has redefined the ways that flash cards are used in our daily lives.  And it has also created learning tools that are fun, entertaining and resourceful.  Explore more card options today, so we can help bring your customized flash cards to life! ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: ShuffledInk




It’s game night! With tablets in hand, your family discusses which game to pick, and even your dog decides to bark his own suggestions, too.

Finally, you all agree on the classic game, Life.

Once all tablets are synced into game mode and each avatar is chosen, they move around your living room. As they investigate their surroundings, they sit on your couch, countertops and even your dog, Scout. But Scout doesn’t mind; he doesn’t even realize it. While your avatar is simply an added layer over our reality, it still shrieks at the sight of your dog…for everything in the living room can be seen, felt and heard by your avatar. Not to mention, the gaming experience feels real to you (the player), too.

When you roll the dice, your avatar moves five spaces on the very real board game in front of you. Then, an interactive bubble with text appears in your living room and a voice says, “You got a raise. Collect $1,000.” Even a short video pops up, featuring your avatar in a series of scenarios that show how you received the raise. With that, your avatar reaches down and from the square platform it stands on, pulls out the money earned and throws it in your direction. You flinch (you always do). Your tablet lights up in celebration, and the remaining cash falls, true to size, from your own ceiling as your digital gaming bank account increases.

You are still as shocked and overwhelmed as you were the first time you played. It continues to amaze you how revolutionary this degree of augmented reality has made your board game experience.

The game, so vivid and insanely real, makes for a spellbinding game night!

Instead of manually moving game pieces with your hand from space to space; instead of just reading a card with words to describe your next task, you experience something far less trivial than “winning”. You become immersed in your very own reality; it’s just kicked up about a dozen notches.


When we think about the future, our immediate thoughts go to stereotypical ideas often portrayed in books, movies and television shows: driving hover crafts; wearing shiny, silver jumpsuits; using holograms…fearing world domination via robotic artificial intelligence (plausible, but we won’t go there).

With the world’s many technological advances, it appears we are currently living in the “future”. But when you really think about it, no matter how much a game’s outward appearance is improved or altered, the ultimate inner objective is always the same: win. Now consider this…what if the future of games didn’t even revolve around winning at all?

In the future, perhaps the driving force to play board and card games will not be to “win,” but instead the focus will shift from “competition” to “experience”.

Augmented reality means to enhance our real-world environment by using screens to display overlaying images, sounds, etc. to create an added dimension to our reality. While the essence of gaming, both the winning and the experience, will remain the same as it has been for generations, the application and evolution of card and board games is constant and dynamic. Augmented reality will certainly be a focal point of how many games are developed, consumed and enjoyed.

So no matter what dimension or reality you are looking to create and share with the world, Shuffled Ink is the perfect partner to help bring your “future” card or board game concept to life!

● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk

● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk

● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk