During the discussion, we find that in our everyday life, we have many thoughts, comments or memes that are very place-specific and we want to share with whoever see it. Therefore, we decide to start with Columbia University and build an annotation community (on buildings). The cutting-edge technology, Augmented Reality serves perfectly well for our purpose, enhancing the interaction between buildings and individuals. In this way, we connect different people who has never had the chance to know each other by the shared experiences with one location.
What it does
After opening the app, a map of the surrounding will pop out. The user opens the camera by clicking the "camera" button. Consequently, the user can see the labels with place names and its distance floating around the space (you can only see it through the camera, of course, and that's the effect of the augmented reality.) If you are interested in one place, you can click that label and another page will pop out. In this page, you can: go back to the previous page; see how many people have "liked" this place and like this page; see other's comment and post your own comment; see more details of the building (which is linked to wikiCU).
How we built it
It is an mobile app run on iOS device, so we wrote the GUI in SWIFT. We get the location information (longitude/latitude/place name) through Google map API and displace the information (place name/ direction(shown when user points the camera to the right direction)/distance from the user). We store all the comment/"likes" on a server written by nodejs.
Challenges we ran into
At the beginning, all of our team members are more familiar with Android development environment, and none of us were very good at iOS GUI development. However, we decided that an app on iPhone serves our purpose best; therefore, we studied how to use Swift together throughout the night and finally figured out how to program.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
First of all, we successfully built the APP, given that all of us did not have much prior experience in developing GUI in Swift. We are also proud that we perfectly incorporated Augmented Reality in our app.
What we learned
We get more familiarized with Swift GUI. We also had a taste of how to use Google map API and ARAnnotation.
What's next for CUAugmented
In the future, we might add in features like identity verification, votes (up/down) for comments, and conversation between users. Also, it would not only allow interaction between users through texts, but also emojis, pictures, and URLs. To foster a healthy community, more rules would be set (e.g. using machine learning to filter out improper comments). It is also a promising step to use Computer Visioning to recognize buildings and texts (e.g. the name of the building), thus enabling users to comment on more specific objects: e.g. the 301 reading room in Butler.
Also, the current App is Columbia University Specific. It can actually be used in anywhere in the world. The user would also be able to choose which type of places he wants to see (library? restaurant? etc)