Image from Gyazo


Physics is one of those required courses for technical folks (and many many others), that just didn't leave the best of user experience (for most of us). What if we could make practicing standardized physics problems fun and actually relevant - happening in the world around you?

What it does

PhysicsAR lets you do problem sets on objects in the real world, to turn exam practice and drilling from boring to fun. Let's ace your high school and first year college physics course (and beyond)!


Practice calculating the Newtonian gravitational force between two objects m1 and m2 in reality. (The masses and distance are randomly generated to be an arbitrary whole number, for easy calculation.)

If you get it wrong, a handy equation pops up. Let's try again!


Deduce the number of steps that dog or cat needs to burn off calories from eating random augmented food!

Again, if you get it wrong, use the handy equation pop up. Though, this one's just an easy 1 step arithmetic!


Figure out the velocity we need to fire an augmented cannon installed on our real life cup to that augmented tree on top of our real life bottle.

Work In Progress

For this raw initial hackathon version, we let you do problem sets on a small class of common objects - such as bottles, cups, cars, TVs, (potted) plants - and household pets for both dog and cat people.

When you point your phone at a dog or a cat, a random food item shows up, where its calorie count is randomized within a range. Currently, our calories workout menu consists of an apple, ice cream, burger, hot dog, ramen, salad, and kibbles.

We're still finetuning the UX and fixing bugs, and we can't decide between realistic augmentations or cartoon-style - so we have both!

Physics like Angry Birds-style cannon shots coming soon!

More objects and tons of problem types coming soon - from the creator of

How we built it

It was a delight to crash course Snap Lens Studio - I've been indoctrinated into Unity for far too long, and I like how all of the commodity tracking is easily accessible in Lens Studio.

Challenges we ran into

  • Learning Lens Studio!
  • Discovering many bugs
  • Exception use-case bugs
  • Things taken for as fast food in Unity land seem a luxury here - "Lens Javascript" does not have native support for real delegates, or even exposable serializable input type arrays
  • No editable play state (unlike Unity)

Still trying to understand the Lens Studio render layer stack actually.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Hacked out a cool demo that might be able to help thousands of physics students ace physics by doing problems in reality!

What we learned

Lens Studio and Lens Javascript...

What's next for PhysicsAR

  • Collisions with objects, or balls that can be shot from AR cannons etc
  • More detectable object classes
  • Mix object tracking with semantic 3D mesh tracking for augmenting 3D models with perspective instead of 2D ortho things
  • maskRCNN to crop out objects and do more with them digitally
  • Bug fixes, for example looking into the render stack when I'm not exhausted hacking all night long
  • More Problems!
  • Apply to Ghost Incubator
  • Hiatus from using my own hacker art and stock images and maybe hire an artist
  • Lens SDK launch!

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