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Augmented Reality Within A Geocache

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I recently created a geocache using augmented reality in a way similar to something I saw my son doing with his Nintendo DS. He had a card that he held up to the camera on the DS that caused a little creature to appear floating over the card. He could move the card around to look at all sides of the creature.


I looked around and saw that there were some good augmented reality (AR) apps and programs out there for use on mobile devices and it got my creative juices flowing.


I was able to find a free app that works on both droid and iPhones and used it to implement this idea. The app was not designed for geocaching but it does work and I think it showcases a new opportunity for creative caching.


I designed the cache as a "pick one of two puzzles" and presented the cacher with the option of using AR or of solving a relatively standard puzzle to get the coordinates. This way cachers who do not have smart phones or tablets will not be excluded.


The 3D image I created is a bit primitive as I am not a CAD artist and I am not all that good with Google Sketchup. I am sure there are folks out there who are WAY better than me at this and I am also sure that many of you can think of unique and interesting ways to take this idea forward.


What do y'all think about AR used in this way. Is this something that is useful?


Geocachers in my area have given me positive feedback. Any and all comments are welcome.


Here is the link http://coord.info/GC47HMJ



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I think you picked a poor day to post about this, I will look and see if I can find an app for BlackBerry.

? Why is today a poor day? Did you just trade in a droid or iPhone? LOL

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I tried it with the Acer A500 (to do the scan) and a Sony Laptop (to display the codes).


I found and downloaded “Augment” for Android. Ran it. It showed the Eiffel Tower, asked if I want to make a tracker, said to scan any magazine (which didn't work with Reader's Digest, and I didn't have another magazine on hand), so I clicked “No Thanks”.


Next I clicked the link and scanned the Marker Page (off the laptop screen), and sure enough, there's that Eiffel Tower in 3D! So it would be best if the cache page would be clear that it's supposed to be a film canister, not the Eiffel Tower. I searched the Eiffel Tower anyway, just in case, and found no clues on it.


The suggestions for buttons and menus didn't work. “Back” is no good, that closes the App. So I worked on that for a while and found the “Scan QR Code” thing by clicking the icon in the upper left corner of the screen (Augment doesn't use the familiar Android Menu... yay?). It seemed to download, but nothing showed up, so I re-read the instructions and realized I needed to click the link again, and go back to the marker page. At that point, the virtual film can popped up and worked fine.


There are two things to “scan”, a QR Code and a Marker Code, and it gets confusing when neither seems to do anything. So I scanned each a few times before getting it working. This will be a lot easier once I understand how to use Augment. I'd prefer precise steps, since it's hard to know the difference between not understanding the steps, and when it's not working. The instructions are the hardest part of the puzzle. :anicute:


It would be cool if cachers could go into the field and find a fake leaf (or whatever) and scan that, for the actual 3D model. But maybe that won't work. You need data reception to download it.

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