Business owners can use augmented reality (AR) to better engage customers and increase accessibility. AR storefront decorations can attract customers without the need for any physical materials and can provide more visual and audio stimulation via animation and spatial audio. Such decorations would also be easily swapped to match major holidays throughout the year. An example of how AR can increase accessibility is replacing a physical clustered menu with an AR one users can enlarge as desired. Additionally, the menu can be supplemented with enlarged, floating AR versions of the menu items customers can easily see and interact with (i.e. translate, rotate, and scale). This is our ideal vision for how our app ARketplace reinvents the storefront using augmented reality.

What it does

ARketplace currently features two viewing experiences. The first one is for a virtual boba shop we made to demonstrate how a real boba shop could be enhanced with ARketplace. The virtual boba shop features a giant spinning boba cup, a resizable menu, and spatial audio. The second viewing experience showcases other Reality Hack teams by using AR to show their logos (that they submitted to us) hovering above their tables. This allows users to walk around and see at a glance which teams they are most interested in learning more about. This second viewing experience is analogous to walking down a street packed with stores using ARketplace to better advertise themselves and stand out more from the rest. Furthermore, it demonstrates the potential real-world utility of ARketplace beyond just decorating storefronts.

How we built it

We wireframed our to be designed design assets in Figma. We did our game building in Unity and scriptwriting in Visual Studio.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into many challenges with hardware and software due to a lack of experience partially due to our team consisting of college freshmen and a high school student compared to other teams with working adults with years of professional designer and developer experience. The major setbacks we ran into were mainly developer issues. For example, we had trouble learning how to use Unity (e.g. how to get desired behavior from our game objects) and then how to get what we did in Unity to do what we want it to do when viewed with HoloLens 2. Additionally, we had separate people working on the two viewing experiences and the user interface that would bring them together, so it was difficult to put everything together into one cohesive app.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We successfully created our first functional game scenes in Unity that allow for user interaction with objects (translating, rotating, and scaling objects) and put them together in a cohesive app that runs on HoloLens 2.

What we learned

We learned how to rapidly adjust our project goals based on the series of challenges and limitations we faced during the hackathon.

What's next for ARketplace

We envision adding a creator space to ARketplace in which real business owners can select and customize objects from an inventory to decorate their store like how we decorated our virtual boba shop. That would help us to ultimately have a functional beta-mode application ready for real-world testing with actual business owners.

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