Computer Science at the University of Bath
by Gabriel Barnes & Robert Murray
We thoroughly enjoyed our two weeks at the University of Bath. We worked on augmented reality applications, which is projecting virtual objects into the real world. To do this we used the Unity game engine and experimented with two augmented reality packages, Vuforia and Metaio.
In the first week we expanded upon a project Gabriel has been working on called Plant Notes. The project involves collecting data about the environments of plants and we thought it would be an interesting idea to use augmented reality to visualise the data. We programmed the application to request data from the web server on the hub. We then processed the data so that when the phone was pointed at the hub data would magically pop out of it. Here is an example of such wizardry.
In the second week we embarked on a furthermore ambitious quest, that of positional tracking indoors. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to implement all of our ideas, but we did manage to calculate all of the distances and angles necessary and develop some proof of concept applications. We hope that our work will be useful to our supervisor, Daniela De Angeli, as this may contribute towards her PhD.
By using tracking of objects in the real world we can calculate the position of the camera in real time which is useful for a whole host of applications. One that would be interesting to look at would be its application in virtual reality for mobile phones as this would provide a cheap method to implement positional head tracking to reduce motion sickness.
We then experimented with controlling sound pitch and volume when the camera changed its distance to the object which could be used to assist the visually impaired or as an interactive sound synthesizer made from objects in your home.