Inspiration

I, Garima have a younger sister who was supposed to start schooling just when the pandemic started. She seemed to struggle a lot initially and got bored at home looking at her teachers only through the screen. Thus, I decided to use this hack as an opportunity to brighten up her day with this app that brings real world objects to her.

During this pandemic, while our education has turned into assignments and a test of our googling skills, pre-school students have just started their educational journey. To them, school is just an aunt/uncle on video call while their parents panic and make them do random activities. The goal is to help kids make some memories they cherish for a lifetime and enjoy learning. This project aims to help kids learn better especially during this pandemic where they don't have the option to see most things live.

Accessibility

This project can be used by all kids. But it will make a lot of difference for kids who suffer from Autism. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.

We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.

It is well known that visual learning speeds the learning process extensively especially for them. This project will help them even after the pandemic and global crisis is over.

What it does

This app has two segments - Learn and Play. In the learn segment, kids need to select the alphabet they wish to study. When an alphabet is selected, 3D model for the corresponding alphabet can be seen upon clicking on the screen.

The second segment of the app is the Play section, in this section the 3D model for an object is presented and four options are provided. The child is expected to select one of the options. He/She will also get feedback depending on which option is selected.

How we built it

This app is built using Swift and Xcode. ARKit and echoAR are extensively used to present the 3D models. Rendering of 3D model is done using SceneKit.

We first picked 3D models to be used using echoAR. echoAR SDK was then added to the project. echoAR was then integrated to the app using ARKit and SceneKit. Custom algorithms were used to build the quiz section of the app.

Challenges we ran into

Initially we faced issues with the setup of echoAR SDK. Since, this is the first time we used ARKit, handling errors was a complex task.

Developing the Play section was also a little complicated since the questions and options are randomised each time.

Most importantly, the design of the app was changed completely since the initial UI was not suitable for kids.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud to have successfully completed this project including rendering 3D models, fixing bugs, making the design suitable for a kid to interact with within 24 hours.

Most importantly, we're proud that the little girl enjoyed using this app.

What we learned

We learned ARKit, echoAR and SceneKit from scratch in 24 hours to build this project.

What's next for LearnBasicsWithAR

We wish to deploy this app to the App Store in the near future so that it is accessible to more kids. Along with this we wish to add some more game options.

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