Project 1 - Things Will Never be the Same

Alpha Due Saturday 9/12 at 8:59pm Chicago time
Application Due Saturday 9/19 at 8:59pm Chicago time
Documentation Due Monday 9/21 at 8:59pm Chicago time

Project 1 is focused on Augmented Reality. In the future when everyone is wearing their AR enabled eye-wear most of the time, what kind of future will it be? We are going to explore this a bit by looking into some AR widgets to help people keep track of what's going on around them - think of them like menu bar widgets in the real world. Back in the olden days people would buy physical things like desk clocks or calendars, or mini weather stations and they would scatter these around their environment. Some were serious, some were tchotchkes or vacation souvenirs. With the internet and laptops and tablets and smartphones etc. these things have mostly become obsolete, but maybe in an augmented world they will make a comeback in augmented form where you could scatter these little information displays around your apartment or just toss one out in front of you as you walk.

here are a couple simple ones that I created ...

In the future people may be wearing lightweight trendy glasses, or contact lenses, or ocular implants, but for now we are going to use a webcam attached to a computer to simulate this AR eye wear. Make sure you have regular access to a modern webcam that you can plug into your development computer.  There are also several apps out there that let you use your smartphone as a webcam, so you may also want to try those (e.g. DroidCam) while developing. We are also going to use fiducial Markers with Vuforia to locate these virtual objects in the real world, so we can be compatible with a wide range of students, but the idea still applies for a modern phone or headset where it locates a plane and you tap to position a virtual object.

The goal here is to give everyone experience in coding an AR application, to see how these virtual objects interact with the real world, and how people can interact with them.

This is an individual project.



Implementing the Project

You will be implementing the project in Unity 2019.4.1f1 and Vuforia 9 and making use of the standard Vuforia Mars Image Target Database. The Week 2 notes show how to set up  Unity and Vuforia and a start on the project.

You will need a set of the main Mars Fiducial Markers (Astronaut, Drone, Fissure, Oxygen) and Markers for the Front and Back of the Mars Box in an appropriate size. Copies of these on 2 pages are located at the links below if you want to print them out onto 8.5 x 11 paper and then cut them out. You can also print them at UIC with your student credit.

Each of the widgets you create should be roughly 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches in size (10 cm by 10cm by 10cm) and be designed to be placed on a desk or table. The widgets should look like what they represent (clock, calendar, thermometer etc.) with the level of complexity being similar to what you would see on a phone / desktop icon, so you should be able to build them out of simple Unity primitives. You need to make all the models yourself. You can make them in Unity itself from primitives (which is what I suggest), or use ProBuilder, or if you are familiar with Blender or Maya or another more powerful tool that is fine as well. In the real world you will often be making use of placeholder models that you create yourself while you wait for your colleagues to create the more polished versions for the final product.


40% of the points on the project are for:

20% of the points on the project are for widgets that show current system information.


20% of the points on the project are for widgets that show current weather data for Chicago from the web.
20% of the points on the project are for widgets that show current weather data for Chicago from the web in additional ways.
Graduate students in the class also need to be able to adjust the settings


If the Mars (MarsBox.Front) and Control Room (MarsBox.Back) are giving you errors (e.g. Could not associate DataSetTrackableBehaviour 'MarsBox.Front' - no matching Trackable found in DataSet!) then you can change the Type for that particular target from 'From Database' to 'From Image', drag a texture for the mars front or mars back image (see below) into the Texture 2D box that appears when you switch to 'From Image'.

all the markers are available in digital form as part of Vuforia that you loaded into your project in:
Assets/Editor/Vuforia/ImageTargetTextures/VuforiaMars_Image

For this to work you need to set an App License Key in Window / Vuforia Configuration, which is why I had people sign up for a developer account just in case.


Unity's built in string parsing code should be enough for dealing with the JSON, but your parsing should be robust and not break (e.g. temperatures could be 75 or 75.1 or 75.12 so be careful how you parse the data). Unity's built in text rendering should be helpful.


Note that there is a very big difference between getting something working and getting it working well. The first is not that hard. The second takes much more time. You are expected to have things working well.



Turning in the Project

You should create a GitHub page for your project. You can integrate Unity with git so that it will track all your changes, or just regularly push files to git. The final project will need to be turned in via git so we know the timestamp on the files, but it can be also helpful to have regular commits in case something goes wrong so you can get partial credit. Initially this repository should be private to yourself.

There are three due dates for the project.

The alpha is due first. At this point you should have all the basic functionality for the Date and Time widgets working. Add the TA as a collaborator to your GitHub repository so she can have access to your work, and email a link to the repository to her. You should also create a short 1 minute YouTube video showing that basic functionality of your application working, probably captured through a screen capture program. Send a link to the video to the TA by the alpha deadline. The alpha helps ensure you are making progress on the project and aren't going to have any last minute issues with Git or YouTube when you do your final turn in.

The unity source and application is due next. This will be turned in via GitHub by making your repository public to at least everyone at UIC.  Be sure to email the location of your repository to Andy and the TA before the deadline.

The third deadline is for the documentation.

You should create a public web page with visible to at least anyone in the course for at least the duration of the course that describes your work on the project. You can host your web page at UIC (http://people.uic.edu), GitHub, or the provider of your choice, as long as it remains available. You can use any publicly available templates as long as you cite them, or create your own.

This page should have several sections including:

all of which should have plenty of screenshots with meaningful captions. Web pages like this can be very helpful later on in helping you build up a portfolio of your work when you start looking for a job, so please put some effort into it.

You should also create a 5 minute YouTube video showing the use of your application including narration with decent audio quality. That video should be in a very obvious place on your main project web page. The easiest way to do this is to capture video from your webcam while interacting with your AR widgets. You can try to narrate while interacting but you will most likely find its useful to do some editing afterwards to tighten the video up. This video is helpful for us to know which parts of your project work, and may be useful in the future when you are tying to get a job and want to show off some of the projects you worked on. 

Once you have your webpage done, send the URL to Andy and the TA before the deadline. We will respond to this email as your 'receipt'.

We will be linking your web page to the project page below so please send Andy a nice representative jpg or png image/photo of your application for the web. This should be named p1.<your_last_name>.jpg or p1.<your_last_name>.png and be roughly 1024 x 768 in size. If you take a photo with your phone please make it horizontal.



Presenting the Project

An important part of creating AR applications is getting feedback and using it to improve your design, and learning to give quality feedback to others.

Normally we would be spending time in class for each person to show off their work and get feedback. This term we will be doing this asynchronously. See the course notes for week 5 and 6 for more details.




Links to all of the Projects:

Name
Web page
GitHub
Photo
Ablang
link
link
Babu Sai
link
link
Campbell



Dudihalli
link
link
Ennis
link
link
Guera
link
link
Guo
link
link
Iorgovan
link
link
Jarad
link
link
Kotak
link
link
Kuang
link
link
Lam
link
link
link2

Lenell
link
link
MacDonald
link
link
Martinez
link
link
Morris



Naber
link
link
Ou
link
link
Paglomotan
link
link
Perkowski
link
link
Phan
link
link

Pisabaj



Sipelis
link
link
Stanuch
link
link
Thornburgh
link
link
Vancin



Vega
link
link
Venkataraman
link
link
Venturella
link
link
Wu
link
link
Yu
link
link
Zhang
link
link
(and if I mangled your name, I apologize - please tell me how to fix it)


last update: 9/22 added more web page links
9/20/2020 added in links to GitHub repositories
9/11/2020 - added notes on how to add your own image targets for the Front and Back Mars Box markers (a similar explanation was posted to piazza)