A Nile Cruise in Egypt's Luxor and Aswan is not only a journey in the ancient past but one of the top 100 things to do / places to visit in the world. Bringing some of the Pharaoh's glorious monuments to life on people's smartphones could share some of this magic, and appeal to many who are still fascinated with Ancient Egypt and its majestic monuments. Discovering Egypt brings Ancient Egypt’s monuments back to life using Facebook’s Spark AR technology and its features, Realistic 3d models for the monuments are placed in 3D space as the back camera is pointed at a horizontal surface using SparkAR plane tracker. A picker includes five options displayed at the bottom of the screen as round images, each representing monument from the famous Karnak Temple, and the Temple of Luxor in Egypt. A user taps on one to select, and a 3D model of that statue is displayed in the real world superimposed as part of the view in the back camera. The name of the Pharaoh’s monument is also shown on papyrus paper, to keep the user informed of the historic information. A user can also point the camera to a horizontal surface such as the floor, tap again on a monument to place it in a fixed point, and walk around it in 360 ⁰, 3d models can be scaled up or down using the fingers pinch gesture. These fascinating features make the experience educative as well as more real. The 3D monuments are all based on real 3D scans, and all their fine details are shown in color, as if in the actual ancient temple.

The experience was built using SparkAR Studio and its features:

  • SparkAR's Patch editor was used for adding objects interaction, animations as well as scripting using JavaScript.
  • plane tracker to detect horizontal surfaces and place the 3d monuments into the world

Challenges I ran into included: scaling of the monuments object models to fit in the real world; importing assets without affecting performance and limited audio extensions.

I am proud to see the outcome of Spark AR Studio, and also to spread the historical knowledge of my country Egypt.

In the future, We'd like to add more 3d models for monuments and more features that add more immersion such as videos or external links for informative purposes that could enhance Discovering Egypt further.

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