We knew we wanted to make something with AR because it's a new emerging market which provides unlimited potential. With the easily accessible ARKit, we thought it would be awesome to allow users to have the capability to express their creativity in a virtual world.
What it does
Users are able to leave or "mark" the spot they are located at with a message. Any other user in that location will be able to see this message in real-time and concurrently add new messages to the virtual world. Users can move around and the app will constantly be pulling in other user's marks!
How we built it
We used ARKit and an open source ARKit-CoreLocation framework. This allowed us to be able to connect the user's location to pin their marked messages in an AR world. Firebase was used to store all our data related to a pin (user, latitude, longitude, data) and GeoFire, a Firebase extension, was used to store and retrieve latitude and longitude points.
Challenges we ran into
Since we are not experienced hackathon-goers, we had a lot of learning to do. It was definitely a steep learning curve stepping into the world of AR, but we were able to learn a lot in these 36 hours. Our initial idea was a lot more fleshed out than we thought we could actually build due to the hackathon time constraints and no prior knowledge about AR.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Being able to complete a project in a time crunch was definitely an accomplishment. Not much sleep was gained, lots of lines of code were written, many hours of time spent understanding documentation, and having fun were definitely all accomplishments.
What we learned
Understanding unique algorithms (GEOHASH) to gather location data within a certain radius of the user, understanding the principles behind ARKit, reading documentation rapidly and using new frameworks, working together as a team and split work to divide and conquer small pieces to fit into a whole, gaining valuable friendships and have lots of team bonding :)
What's next for Mark Your Territory
Getting 3D text as an option without any bugs or issues. We also want people to be able to create 3D drawings in AR and have those be stored in the area, that would allow for people to create a kind of graffiti that is non-damaging to their area. We were also planning on having users upload user images and storing them with Firebase Storage. These images would be left in locations for other people to see. Integrating ML apis for inappropriate content would also be necessary.