Augmented Reality Sandbox | Design, Creation, And Resources For An Affordable Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox

Sandbox With AR

The AR sandbox is an important resource for businesses that want to use an augmented reality app or develop an AR app. The sandbox is a key part of the project.

It’s important to consider all the important factors when designing this AR sandbox. In this blog, we’ll look at how to create a sandbox using AR technology and provide important resources on the topic.

Introduction To AR Sandboxes

An AR sandbox is a box of sand, a physical toy, that allows users to engage in an artificial environment with the help of augmented reality technology.

This happens when they interact or play around in the sand, which is a natural environment for them.

The AR sandbox consists of a box filled with white play sand. When you draw topographical lines into the sand that create contours, and designs of this desert terrain, an overhead projector and a motion-sensing input device like the X-Box Kinect project exaggerated images of the landscape as you change it.

This creates a different view of the slopes and elevations that you create. You can now see them more deeply in varied colors on the sand just like you see a heat or depth map on a website using color gradients from white to blue.

As you move your hand through the sand, the projector redraws those elevations with a deeper sense of elevation to scale.

Want to have some fun? Just move your open palm over the sand to obstruct the image from the projector onto the sand. You’ll see the recreated image as blue droplets. You actually made it rain!

Through an interactive digital interface, these topographical surfaces adjust and change as you move and draw in them using an application program connected to the Kinect sensor.

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How To Go About Creating A DIY AR Sandbox?

Equipment Needed

  1. 1BenQMW632ST or similar projector on a precision projector mount
  2. 2X-Box Kinect 1414 with its USB adaptor
  3. 3Preferably Core i5 computer with at least 3Ghz RAM
  4. 4NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or similar high-quality video card for water simulation and a quick rendition
  5. 5White Play Sand or Kinetic sand (150 – 250 lbs)
  6. 630 by 40-inch plywood box supported by 4×4 legs and playhouse stands

Fill the finished box with around 250 lbs of white play sand. It’s recommended that you use regular medium or small fraction quartz or washed sand that you find along a sea beach or river. Use certified sand that does not produce too much dust.

Setting Up Your AR Sandbox

To set up the projector, use what’s called a projector mount. It’s basically some sort of stand made out of metal or something similar that lets you get your projector off the ground.

Mount the projector 40 inches above the sand. This is the recommended height, so the bracket for the projector is 40 inches above the sandbox, fitted on the vertical pole.

The projector slides right into the mount and you can align it along the X and y-axis on auto and the Z axis by hand. Make sure you’re getting a good picture in the sandbox.

Align the X-BOX Kinect at the same height close to the projector. This sensor should be aligned to the center axis of the sandbox for accurate projections.

You’ll need an adapter to connect the X-Box Kinect to your computer.

This concept, design, and programs to create this type of sandbox with calibrated topographic effects were developed at the University of California – Davis.

The University developed software consisting of the Kinect 3D video processing framework, the Vrui Virtual Reality (VR) development toolkit, and the SARndbox software package. You can download these software packages under the GNU General Public License.

Modern Uses Of The AR Sandbox

The AR Sandbox can consist of a variety of wooden objects, like gears and boxes, which can be used to construct items such as a house, a car, or a boat. You can then use your mobile device to scan and interact with your newly-built creation!

You get an AR Sandbox mobile app on Google Play that gives you a variety of building materials and objects and the ability to bring them to life through augmented reality!

How Do You Make An AR Sandbox Game?

The first method is to create the game using Unity and run it on an Android or iOS device. There are different ways to make the game work.

  • One is to use the Unity ARKit plugin for making augmented reality games. Opting for this plugin gives you the advantage of using an already existing framework to make this type of game for specific devices.
  • Another method is to use Vuforia to make an augmented reality game. Vuforia is a software development kit (SDK) that turns any game into an augmented reality game. There’s a steep learning curve on how to use Vuforia, but the advantage is that it works on many devices.

AR-BALL Gravity Game

The objective of this game is to guide a virtual ball from the starting point to the finish line and also get rid of obstructions along the way.

To do so, you first need to mold your lane by digging into the sand, then wait for the ball to roll down your lane and destroy all of the obstructions that come in its way.

The ball will only move downhill, so you have to care about creating just enough incline that the ball stays at the target and does not jump out. With endless possibilities regarding how your track may be shaped and difficulty increasing with each level, this is truly a fun game with no two games being exactly alike.

Top Applications Of The AR Sandbox

Education With Interaction

Elementary schools, science museums, and childcare centers can use the AR sandbox as an educational tool.

Whether it’s teaching kids about the wildlife, showing them how objects interact with each other, or giving them a visual representation of what to expect when they pour sand into the water, this sandbox is a great tool for educators.

It can be used to show how raindrops fall, let kids see what happens when they put their hand in the sand, or you can even use it to show them how water works in an ocean, lake, or pond! Simply scan the sand with your device to activate the AR sandbox!

In this sandbox, kids can choose from a variety of templates and get a chance to make their own sandbox. They can also use the templates to make their own sandbox games, which is great for parties.

Professional AR sandboxes include map projection software that was built specifically for educational environments. Educators use this sandbox to teach students how to use GPS, analyze spatial data, read maps, and plenty more!

Check this out! This is the ideal VR sandbox – the right size and for any application – Click Here

Presentations / Exhibitions

Develop unique sandboxes with AR to create interactive presentations and exhibits specific to your business.

For example, you can create an object in your presentation that is three-dimensional and interact with it. Use it in exhibitions by letting your visitors see a 3D object with interactive elements, or you could present the object by itself.

Patient Therapy & Rehabilitation

The AR sandbox is an excellent way to encourage cognitive development, especially in children suffering from developmental disabilities like autism.

These children practice vital life skills when they explore the sandbox. For example, they improve their skills at recognizing patterns and learn to focus on the task at hand.

Children also develop better coordination and balance, as they learn how to interact with the world around them and react to their environment.

The AR sandbox is a great therapeutic tool for healing the psyche’s natural capacity. Corporations have realized their goal of sustaining a comfortable, healthy, and relaxed workforce is possible with a therapeutic sandbox.

The sandbox may not be the best way to treat everyone, but it’s almost impossible to be upset while using it, especially when it’s so affordable.

Anyone who wants to feel more relaxed and happier should use the sandbox!

Providing Entertainment And Enhancing Creativity

You can get an interactive and fun sandbox that lets children enjoy learning, creativity, and games with augmented reality. An innovative touch screen allows children to interact with characters as they use an augmented reality app to learn and experience exciting adventures, as they bring characters to life. Check it out here!

Which is the best place to install your AR sandbox?

The ideal place is an indoor location frequented by lots of children. Some places to consider include schools, cafes, children’s game rooms, shopping centers, exhibitions, cinemas, kindergartens, indoor playgrounds, and museums.

The idea is to install the sandbox in a place that offers clear and bright projections on the sand surface. This means it’s best to keep it in a place where you can create dim surroundings around the AR sandbox.


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