Augmented Reality Turns a Sandbox into a Geoscience Lesson

BESTie Dr. Sherry Hsi’s research is featured in Earth & Space Science News: Superimposing responsive digital effects onto sand in a sandbox places educators, students, and policy makers in an augmented reality, offering a hands-on way to explore geoscience processes. Sherry is currently a Senior Researcher at the Concord Consortium.

Excerpt: The AR Sandbox uses a computer projector and a motion-sensing input device (e.g., a Microsoft Kinect 3D camera) mounted above a box of sand. The user shapes the sand in the box, and the camera detects the distance to the sand below. A three-dimensional (3-D) model of the sand surface is used to project contour lines and a color-coded elevation map representing the corresponding topography onto the sand’s surface. As users move the sand, the camera perceives the changes, and the projected colors and contour lines change accordingly.

By , Sherry Hsi, Oliver Kreylos, M. Burak Yikilmaz, Louise H. Kellogg, S. Geoffrey Schladow, Heather Segale, and Lindsay Chan