Kesif Augmented Reality Mobile App
Technologies: Unity, C#, Vuforia Augmented Reality SDK, Maya
I loved working on this app even though it was quite a journey, because I didn’t really know how I was going to make it so I ended up having to learn a lot in the process. I’m planning to write a more extensive blog post about how I made it, but here’s a brief description: After a failed attempt with Phonegap and the Wikitude Augmented Reality Plugin for Phonegap, I changed technologies and switched to Vuforia. I wasn’t sure whether the Vuforia Unity SDK was going to work right, but I tested it out with a sample app and after solving a couple of problems, it worked beautifully. Our initial goal was to have the AR pick out the distinct shapes on the tokens, but looking back, I think that would have probably required a different approach (like edge detection using OpenCV). Because of that we decided to keep it simple and stick with the sample target images that Vuforia has (the stones and the chips). Next, I had to figure out how to import my custom models and animations from Maya into Unity. I learned a bit about FBX exporting from Maya, and was able to get a dervish to appear on top of the image target successfully. The step after that was to trigger the animation on a specific interaction. I went for simple again and decided to check the number of touches on the screen. On the detection of a touch, the animation would start playing. For the seagull, I added another animation and linked it with two touches.
The user interface itself is “faked” in Unity using textured planes. As I mentioned earlier, we were in a time crunch and that method seemed to work pretty well, with almost no delays, so I decided to go with it. I had been testing the app on an Android tablet up to that point, but after an unreasonably long amount of time signing up for an iOS Developer Account and attempting to run the Unity project on the iPad, it finally worked!
You can check out the static content on the app at http://kesifistanbul.com/. We wanted the judges to be able to visit it if they wanted to, so I made a basic HTML version of the app’s contents.