Now with Google Poly support so you can load any 3D model!
Note: Press the bottom left hand corner "AR mode" button if you are having trouble pointing your device camera at your Echo screen. This will force AR mode camera. By default, "virtual mode" happens so that interactivity continues even if you lose tracking.
***** Live on the iOS App Store! Grab it here! *****
If you don't have an Echo Show, feel free to use the Tester 3D "virtual" Echo Show (and environment) @ http://tester.diorama.space
Diorama Infinity lets you create infinite worlds inside your Echo Show - by turning the Show into an augmented reality diorama creation platform.
Every time you say "Alexa, open DIORAMA INFINITY", you get a random screen that a user created. Point your phone or tablet at the screen to "see into this world". Note that as you move your device, you can see so much more than just the plane of the screen - it's an entire infinite space!
If you want to create your own diorama, simply summon a Grid. Say: Alexa, open DIORAMA INFINITY and load a grid. The creator menu shows up. You can now sign your name. The upload button also appears when you are ready to upload.
There are a few books on the left side. If you can't see their titles, you can touch the red ribbon to rotate your camera in no virtual Echo Show mode. Each book represents a scene choice. Touch a book to change into that scene.
There are 3D animals in front of the Echo Show diorama box, just like there would be if you were building your own diorama. Your job is to arrange them inside the Echo Show to turn it into your diorama!
Echo currently times out after 8 seconds. You can load the grid as your Echo Show home screen image to keep building for as long as you want.
The app also works without needing to point your phone at the Echo Show. Instead, you get a virtual desktop and virtualized Echo Show. The usual touch screen interactions work, such as twist to rotate and two-fingers to pan the camera.
But, as you can see, nothing beats the degrees of freedom you'd get for interacting with a real life Echo Show.
Or, as Shakespeare's Hamlet might put it, "I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space."
The app currently comes with a Safari Edition demo. More animals and other themes - such as infinite space and unexplored oceans coming soon!
Let's see where your creativity takes you on Diorama Infinity!
( Video script written on http://storywriter.amazon.com )
Challenges: Originally, I had planned to do a more ambitious integration, where Alexa and the iOS/Android AR app are very closely knit.
However, I ended up simplifying the Alexa app to just loading a random screen that other users have shared or loading the grid to build on. The random image is generated from a PHP endpoint that redirects a random image created by a random user from the clientside iOS/Android app, subsequently stored on S3 (and also the metadata which includes what pieces were put in the scene). Currently, the Echo Show device seems to cache the image during the same session, so users are encouraged to just re-invoke the launch intent each time. Of course, the bulk of the magic comes with the iOS/Android app that can recognize the content of each screen to be able to load the 2D image scene "back again" in 3D. But, that's just my bread and butter :)
Here's a systems level flowchart illustrating the different technologies used to create this experience:
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