1,2,3! with Farm Animals: Augmented Reality Tracing Book

1,2,3! with Farm Animals: Augmented Reality Tracing Book was my Final Year Project (FYP). It is an AR app accompanied with a custom-made book to enhance the handwriting-learning experience of pre-school children. This project is what got me into Unity and mixed reality development.

Since this is a very, very old app and I used to be terrible at documenting, I could hardly find images and videos of it in action. The following are what I could manage to scrape from the depths of my hard disks.

About the App

When: Around late 2015 – mid 2016

Duration: 8 months (including learning Unity & Vuforia, book designing and printing)

The app comes with a custom made book drawn and design by yours truly (I wanted to minimize cost). Each page of the book serves as a marker for the app. There is a demonstration page and an activity page for each number (one to ten).

When the display device is held over the demonstration page, a replayable animation is played showing how to write the number. The lines were purposefully made all rainbowy and colourful to appeal to young children.

The activity page is where most of the interaction happen. Black 3D spheres appear above its 2D counterparts. The user then grabs the virtual pencil and drag it across the screen, following the dots. The spheres change colour and makes a “ding!” sound as they are hit.

Once all the spheres are hit, a virtual plane appears covering the page with the completed outlined number, along with a 3D representation of the animal displayed on the page. For instance, if there is an illustration of a duck on the page and they’re doing the number two, then animated two ducks will appear on the plane once the activity is completed. (I couldn’t find a picture of this, which is a shame, because I am very proud of this mechanic.)

Improvements

It could’ve been better if I had implemented some error-detection to know whether the user had correctly followed the dots or not. Maybe something to keep track of performance. But this is only something I’ve thought of years later.

Thoughts

Developing this application and learning everything from scratch: Unity, Vuforia, etc was quite a challenge. Everything was so so new and with final year commitments, I thought I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Oh the relief I felt when I was actually able to build it to my tablet and see AR in action!

Towards the end of my Final Year I entered various competitions with this project and I am proud and happy (to this day) to share that I won numerous awards (and a bit of cash) with it! This project kickstarted my journey into mixed reality development and has proven to be a worthwhile endeavour during my final undergraduate year.

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