Augmented reality is an important technology for architecture and urban planning because it is based on spatial computing, therefore it has an ability to understand 3d physical spaces, buildings, and infrastructure, and overlay these with contextually relevant information. If we fast forward a few years in wearable computing - when iOS and Android are no longer supported on mobile phones, but instead on some variation of eyewear, then we can start to really explore the usefulness of AR in our everyday experiences, and the way we design, view and create architecture, and our urban environment. As designers its important to understand the value of spatial computing, as it can not only inform the way we create physical spaces, but also the way we experience the city.
In this era of mobile computation, it is important to understand how architectural space is continually determined through digital interfaces, as much as it is by its physical counterparts. As computational intelligence strengthens within the domain of augmented reality technology, it becomes vital to understand how people experience physical space through a series of digitally crafted landscapes, and how these digital interfaces can become embedded within architectural design and fabrication.
With the release of ARki 2.0 we made a challenging decision to re-develop the app with the inclusion of a marker-less AR solution, ARkit, versus our previous marker-driven SDK provided by Vuforia. The pro and cons of both solutions were extensive, and we deliberated over this decision tirelessly. However in the end ARkit won, and today I wanted to go over some of our reasons for why we chose to upgrade to ARkit over our beloved Vuforia SDK.
The introduction of paper-less AR is a total game changer for ARki visualisations. The ability to bring design propositions to life without the need for printed images, means that ARki is free from the confines of paper printouts, and paper size limitations. Now ARki is able to be explored spatially, on-site, and in any environment that could essentially benefit from an augmented visualisation. The release of ARki 2.0 is the start of our paper-less AR adventures. We are excited to see how this new toolkit allows us to start incorporating AR within the built environment, and at much larger scales than the standard AR experience.
When we started theorising about ARki back in in 2010, we imaged a parallel dimension of architecture and environments that ran along our physical reality, and seamlessly merged with our surroundings. In this reality, architects could easily superimpose their designs within their physical sites, visualise digital models on table tops, and experience walking through their designs in real time, without having to create physical prototype or models. Initially the AR technology available didn’t allow us to freely create these experiences without the use of 2d image trackers, such as site plans etc, to augment these digital models within the real-world. Moreover the ability to create large scale architectural propositions in AR was always limited to the use of industrial scale printed markers as trigger images to kickstart the augmentation.
In the search for greater augmented realities, what we forget is the downfalls of this technology, and how it impacts our psyche from a psychological level. To immerse whole heartedly within our digital experiences without an understanding of how it is impacting us socially, and environmentally, is essentially negligence on our part. We must bring into attention the downfalls of AR, as much as praise its technologically capacity.
Augmented reality is essentially responding to our need to mould space, it is giving us the capacity to view our digital experiences as valid counterparts that have the right to exist within our physical environment.
One of the key highlights of ARki is the possibility to include custom interactivity features, for the most engaging visualisation. The options for interactivity within ARki are vast, and we often get asked what sorts of interactive features/animations are available to include?
The type of feature we recommend for each app is usually directly linked to the design agenda, and the story behind each proposition. Highlighting specific features using real-time animations, and toggles, are a great way to communicate the design process and ultimately immerse users with your projects.
Below are a list of features that we recommend within an ARki experience.
Having explored the idea of spatial gaming over the last 4 years, we are continually pushing the boundaries of gaming and art to transform physical space into playgrounds that can be experienced through new gaming techniques.
Hermaton Update on google play and App store, which has 7 new levels that work with the cone models displayed at Shine Bosch Arts Festival!
You can download and print all the trigger images to create cone models from Here:
Visit the Hermaton Shine page for more information.
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