Growing up, a lot of people like us learned English as a second language. It was difficult to associate English words with their meaning, since English is so different from our native languages, like Chinese and Urdu.

With the accessibility of mobile phones and current development in augmented reality, we want to help children learn English words with cute, easy-to-use holographic visualizations to reinforce associative learning.

What it does

Our application has two modes: practice mode and quiz mode. It also comes with index cards to complement the learning process.

Practice Mode: Take an index card and look at the side with the word. Flip the card, and point your phone camera towards the image on the back. Voila! The hologram of the word shows up, with the word on top of the hologram! You can tap on the hologram, and hear what the animals sound like!

Quiz Mode: Take an index card, and point your phone camera towards the word. Three objects will show up, and you have to tap on the right choice! If you tap on the correct object, you get a point! If not, prepare yourself for the brrrrrr noise, and also a message telling you to try again! If you get all of the index cards correct, you’ll get a congratulations scene! Keep note that your score won’t increase if you get the same word correct over and over again!

How we built it

We created the application with Unity paired with the Vuforia package. We used the Android SDK to build the application and deploy it on on our phones.

We also used Illustrator for the logo design, InDesign for the index card design, Sketch for the UI design, Zeplin for design handoff to dev, and Google Poly for the models. We used a QR generator to create the QR codes for our cards.

Challenges we ran into

Since we were all not very familiar with Unity – especially Vuforia – we had to spend a lot of time gaining an understanding of core mechanics of Unity before jumping into the building stage. Since there weren’t as many videos and tutorials on AR mobile applications with Unity, we had to do our own independent experimentations with scripting to test out the functionalities that we’d like to include in our application.

Some assets that we're using from Google Poly have very little feature points and Vuforia had a problem recognizing the images, so we had to implement a solution using QR code for certain cards.

Also, because we were unaware of potential licensing issue beforehand, we spent a day to get interactive animations working (for example, a cat starts running when a butterfly is in view) using free assets from Unity Asset Store. In the future we’d like to create our own animations for the application.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We’re happy that we’re able to learn how to make AR mobile applications and tools such as Unity and Vuforia, especially since we’re beginners in this field.

What we learned

We’re happy that we’re able to learn how to make AR mobile applications and tools such as Unity and Vuforia, especially since we’re beginners in this field.

What's next for Kawaii Kards

Currently we’re using Google Poly for the 3D models. In the future, we’d like to create high definition illustrations with more feature points so we don't need the QR code on top of the images for Vuforia's image recognition. We'd also like to animate our own 3D models so we can incorporate them into the application - for example, adding index cards for verbs (behaviors) and so the holograms can animate differently.

In the far future, we can incorporate this technology into textbooks for science subjects such as biology and physics 3D and animations can help with learning.

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