As a part of our “Day Of Notables” Expo we wanted to arrange an activity that parents who were visiting could experience on their own iPhone – that reflected the students’ chosen “Notable” Australians and their achievement.
Here’s a video of our final project, built using Apple’s “Reality Composer” Tool:
The Creation Process
Reality Composer seemed like a terrific tool to do this – it’s a tool for creation of Augmented Reality experiences that can be viewed on people’s own phones and iPads.
Reality Composer uses a system called “Anchors” to define what the project is “Anchored” to. – It has the ability to hang things on the wall, or “float” in the middle of the air or link to an object.
Working with the Year 6 teachers, Amanda Eisman and Hannah Apfelbaum – our initial prototype included a design that would hang along the wall of the entry way in the College. In this case – two of my daughters and my dog and their notable achievements. Tapping the bars below the picture frame made the “Notable” explain what they had done.
We tested against walls in the College, including glass walls – Everything was working well but the wall we hope to align against wasn’t flat – it’s a series of wooden logs and then a wall – so it wouldn’t anchor:
This just meant we came up with something better.
We chose anchoring to the floor instead and making it a walk past the items. – This also meant we could better socially distance people and give them a great experience – getting up close with the interactive items. As they tap or got close to the people in the picture frames – the children had summarised their achievement into something their character could say in a first-person sentence.
Each notable is in their own “Picture frame” and we added images of their notable.
To create the row and line them up more easily – Amanda and Hannah grouped all the items for one picture frame together including the picture and its animations and then duplicated them – then switched to using a top-down view and moving the group back about 1.5metres. We had to allow for a slight slope on our College entry way but this is easily done when all the animations were grouped together.
Sharing With Our Community
Parents did have to download the Reality Composer app ahead of time because this became a very complex model. We would have liked to have used Reality Composer’s “USDZ export” which would have meant it worked without an app at all, however once they had the Reality Composer app – we could just AirDrop the project to their phone or device and have them push “Play” and they were off.
They were super-engaged and it was fantastic watching them gaze in amazement as they walked up a virtual parade of their children’s “Notables” before entering the Hall and seeing what else their children had created…