Dinosaurs take over Thought Den office…

We’ve landed a neat little R&D project with BBC Learning Development that aims to explore how Augmented Reality can be used in education for children. Great news for our expanding educational output, that includes live events, games, animations and bespoke online applications.

The project will launch at the Big Bang Science Fair in early March and presents users with a familiar problem – re-assemble the mixed up parts to form the whole. This time the twist is that the puzzle takes a 3D dimensional form and interaction occurs with an AR marker via the webcam. The best bit? Dinosaurs are involved. Dan is very excited.

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What better way to start a research project than with a real-life puzzle and a cup of coffee. Play Nicely laid down the gauntlet by assembling their dino-kit first, though we’re not entirely sure how anatomically correct their version is. Justin, in full 3D himself, will mastermind the modeling and Mr Adam Vernon will be developing the Flash interface.

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We’ll be using a mixture of the FLARToolkit and papervision, though the current debate is how to get the smoothest effect for live 3D and a model that has over 3,000 polygons. We’ve even discussed creating a series of PNGs for increased verisimilitude at the expense of full 360 interactivity. Tests will be posted for comment if anyone out there is interested in our progress.

Over at Play Nicely, the boys are making leaps and bounds with their Total Immersion AR projects, but for this brief it was essential no 3rd party software was required beyond the usual Flash Player, which currently stands at 94% penetration throughout Europe…

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