Inspiration

It's my friend's birthday next week and I wanted to do something special and unique.

What it does

PostcARds is a system to allow users to create customized augmented reality postcards.

How I built it

Unity, echoAR, Vuforia Cloud Targets

How it works

The sender uses the app to set what they want to show on their postcard, this is then uploaded to the echoAR data API.

The sender then sends the postcard to the recipient, and then the recipient can login to the viewer, and view their AR postcard.

By using echoAR, we could have potentially limitless options for customization since PostcARds uses their content delivery network (CDN) to hotload 3D models on the fly, which could be added without updating the app, and without using any space on their phone.

Additionally, using vuforia cloud targets means that the image recognition model isn't embedded directly into the app, meaning also limitless possible postcards could be recognized, and also added without updating the app, and the same space saving benefits.

Challenges I ran into

The Unity gameobject UI menu disappeared, so initially I built the UI by hand using components only. Eventually I got fed up with that and remade the project which re-enabled UI gameobjects. I suspect this is an issue with enabling incremental GC or standard frame pacing in Unity.

echoAR fails to load models on android - due to issues with the shaders. Works properly in the unity editor window, and looking into it, it seems to be an issue with one of the libraries echoAR depends on and not echoAR itself. To work around this I ended up using my laptop for the final demo instead.

Didn't have enough time to write it to allow you to have multiple models on one card, so each card is limited to one custom 3D model at a time per user at the moment.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

You can set unique AR models per user, and it saves this to the echoAR cloud backend.

What I learned

echoAR

What's next for PostcARds

Allow multiple models, allow placement of models to form a scene, for example a campsite.

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