Inspiration

Our inspiration for this product came when we researched about the problems with space travel. Mental health issues struck out to us because we felt that this was something that wasn’t really looked at in space travel. Dealing with this sort of thing would be especially important for a voyage in space to a brand new planet considering that the travel time may be extremely long. This inspired us to develop a product that would provide an adequate solution. Discover Howler is our solution for this problem.

What it does

This web-app allows users to use their camera and find unique graphics in augmented reality around the world. If a QR code is spotted, the user can open the app and scan it to see more information and discover Planet Howler. It's practically a sustainable, planet museum. It also allows users to submit health information for feedback on improving mental and physical well-being in space according to well documented journals and resources.

How we built it

HTML and CSS were used to develop the frontend of the web-application. An API call was made to echoAR from an iFrame to display the content for this project in augmented reality. JavaScript was also used for back-end to process user submissions for the various health monitoring surveys. The team used Github Desktop and Visual Studio Code to collaborate effectively.

Challenges we ran into

One big challenge that we ran into was the number of echoAR API calls that we were allowed to have. The starting amount was 50 API calls per month. This posed a problem because there was a chance that we would end up using up all the allowed API calls just testing the game. This led to there being a chance that the product would be unusable during the judging period. To fix this problem, we had to purchase a business plan for echoAR which provided a free trial of 5000 API calls per month for 7 days.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Creating the game was a major accomplishment. The way this game runs is very similar to Pokemon Go and to think that we created a game like it using augmented reality that fits well into the theme of space and the voyage to Plant Howler was something that we’re very proud of. We believe that this game is something that can really help astronauts who are feeling lonely and confined in space.

What we learned

Through the process of creating this resource, we were able to learn many new things about space travel and how it can affect the astronauts in it. We were also able to learn about augmented reality and how to implement our ideas through the use of echoAR.

What's next for Discover Howler

Discover Howler is bound to be an ever-progressing game with infinite potential in terms of it’s game updates and the health updates that are possible. For the game updates, what would be added is geo-tags or location-based augmented reality, collaborative gameplay, weekly challenges, leaderboards (making the game more competitive) and a mapping system which will allow users to discover the entire planet. Some health updates we could add are health monitoring systems, machine learning on an astronaut’s personal data to improve health, and more surveys which are specific towards certain age groups.

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