There exist several phone applications that allow users to hold their smartphones up to the sky and see an artificial rendering of the sky where the phone is pointed, complete with labels and descriptions of celestial objects. We wanted to bring that concept to the Mixed Reality platform so that users could more directly interact with the stars in the sky. This application would also allow users to visualize the stars under low-visibility conditions, such as cloud coverage or light pollution.

What it does

The application takes into account the time and location of the user and displays an accurate representation of the stars in the sky depending on which way the user is facing. This rendering could then theoretically be augmented with labels for each star and a popup description available for each star upon selection, but these features were not yet implemented.

How we built it

We built our application within Unity, using the C# programming language.

Challenges we ran into

  • A HoloLens was not available for us to use when running and testing our code. We also had no access to a working emulator, so our final code is simply an untested concept model.
  • The C# programming language was entirely new to us, as was Unity.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Our code compiled.
  • Surviving an all-nighter

What we learned

  • C# should not be learned in one weekend.
  • Testing without appropriate hardware is inconvenient.
  • HoloLenses are cool.

What's next for PlanetARium

  • Testing and developing on a HoloLens to help us develop a working application.

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