AR-Diwali is committed to create alternate reality solutions in the interest of addressing social and environmental issues.One of the problems in which vision3 has seen an opportunity to create an alternate reality solution is from last year's Diwali. We know that Diwali is the festival of lights but it is turning to darkness because of the pollution that gets generated on the day, due to firecrackers. And this pollution has many long-term consequences on people's lives and the earth's environment. Government has taken certain precautionary steps like restricting the crackers bursting time to just 2 hours. But from people's perspective it almost looked like they were being restricted from celebrating their traditional festival. Hence we have seen people violating this restriction. If this trend continues then it won't be a surprise if we lose the joyful tradition of bursting crackers completely.
The objective of this project is to design and develop a platform, AR-Diwali, where:
- Celebration of bursting crackers is made more fun
- Safe and Eco-friendly
- Completely reduce the plastic, paper, harmful chemicals and powders used in producing and bursting crackers
- Encourage digital celebration giving the possibility to celebrate every time with new and unique crackers
The proposed system contains the following modules
- Augmented Object Detection (For Augmented crackers)
- Human Tracking (To adjust the augmented arena as per user position and context)
- Human Interaction with the Augmented Objects
- Following the existing and evolving out new design principles that work best in AR
- Feedback system improvements based on human behaviour
Augmented Object Detection module
- Use the existing frameworks like Vuforia, AR-Core, AR-Kit
- Capture the live video stream through the AR-headset or mobile camera
- Use the frameworks to detect the tracker objects in the video stream and augment the crackers/other resources.
- Use game engines like Unity3D to create the interactions of users with the augmented resources
- Tracking by head mounted devices
- Tracking by the sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope embedded in mobile devices
Human Interaction with Augmented Objects
One of the major challenges in developing the Augmented/Mixed Reality(MR) based applications is how the augmented content is presented to the end-user and how we enable the interactions.Since the AR/MR field itself is relatively new there is a large scope for experiment and innovation on how the end user experience is created. We will be borrowing the principles of Calm Technology and AR best practices to emulate the real world diwali celebration experience.
Following and evolving out new design principles
To know more about the design principles read here.
Human Behaviour Analysis
This module is specifically to record the real human experience in the real world and identify where the experience can be improved followed by a questionnair session.
During the development, we also tested and validated the experiences with our colleague in office space. Each and everyone was interviewed individually by asking the standard questions which were framed by the experts in the domain. Their feedback was recorded for making improvements in the system and video shots were taken for future references. Doing this session repeatedly with different sets of people and incorporating their valid feedback helped us a lot, to provide a better user experience. The following are some of the standard questions, that were asked during this session
- How natural did your interactions with the AR environment seem?
- How responsive was the environment to actions that you initiated (or performed)?
- How completely were all of your senses engaged?
- How much did the visual aspects of the AR environment involve you?
- How much did the auditory aspects of the AR environment involve you?
- How natural was the movement with HMD (Head Mounted Device) in the experimental space ?
- How aware were you of events occurring in the real world around you?
- How compelling was your sense of objects augmented in space?
- Were you able to anticipate what would happen next in response to the actions that you performed?
- How closely were you able to examine objects?
- How well could you examine objects from multiple viewpoints?
- How well could you move the augmented objects ?
- Do you feel confused or disoriented after wearing the headset ? if yes to what degree do you feel at the beginning of breaks or at the end of the experimental session?
- How involved were you in the overall experience?
- What was distracting during your experience ?
Social and collaborative platform
The initial version of AR-Diwali just supports single users. In future, a support for inviting friends/relatives to join the augmented/virtual space will be provided, where the user can have a shared experience of bursting crackers.
Initially many of the users felt it was difficult to fire the cracker with the sparkler as they were not able to feel the depth correctly. Hence a guide line from the sparkler tip to the cracker tip was shown as feedback. This line turns green when the user is nearing the sparkler tip to the cracker tip and turns red in the case of vice versa. Though this instant feedback helped the user to feel depth to a decent extent, further enhancement has to be done.
The user has to be very close to the image targets for detection and firing the crackers. As in the real world, the users will not keep their head very close to fire the crackers. This experience is much different from the real world and makes users feel less realistic sometimes. This detection issue will be fixed in the upcoming versions. .