Around the world, nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute. More than 40 percent of plastic is used just once, then tossed. At the root of this problem is a wealth of misinformation around what people can actually to to help be part of the solution, rather than keep contributing to the problem. We are hoping we will fill that knowledge gap and provide people with the tools and information to recycle, reuse, and donate.

What it does

TiliAR is an app for people who want to be more environmentally conscious but might not know how. Whether you are new to a city looking for the closest recycling station or you have unwanted items with no current use for them. There are many ways in which materials can be up cycled and transformed. TilliAR uses Augmented reality to transform your trash and turn it into treasures, by suggesting fun and creative ways to renew them.

How we built it

We used Mural to brainstorm ideas and project plan. Here we decided everything from our logo and colour scheme, to the specific user stories and how our features could help resolve these. The app was then designed in Sketch and the walkthrough demo was created in InVision.

The AR feature was created by designing each individual 3D object in Tinkercad (a freely available design tool). Each object was then exported into an .obj file, and modified using Xcode into .udsz files compatible for Apple's built-in AR functionality. The 3D objects were then positioned within the 3D space of Reality Composer, while anchored to the horizontal plane. By exporting these to an iPhone we were able to create an interactive AR environment for our app.

Challenges we ran into

None of us had ever worked with or created anything using AR before, so when we decided this was going to be a key feature of our app we had to learn as much as we could as quickly as possible to make this happen. This involved a lot of googling of various ways to implement AR and different tools available to modify it. We briefly considered using Google's Lens functionality, but then realised that the tools available for Apple Developers was more suited to our needs.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Going from zero to fully functional with AR is something we're very proud of because when we started this project on Friday we were all very unsure we'd get anything working.

We are also very proud of our pitch video, it was truly a team effort and we really feel like we were able to show our vision for the project.

What we learned

Almost everything we did for this project, we did for the first time. None of us had experience using Sketch before so two of our teammates took it upon themselves to figure out all the necessary functionalities to bring our vision to life. Similarly, we had no knowledge around AR and had to investigate both how it works in practice as well as how to implement it to adapt as expected with our environment. Finally, all of us are in tech jobs, but have no experience with video creation, so that was another interesting learning curve - trying to work out step by step how to echo our ideas on screen.

What's next for TiliAR

There were a couple of features we were keen to include but just didn't have the time to fully implement and do justice. Some of these include:

  • Donation options (map view of local charity shops and information about what they accept)
  • Social media feed (to showcase upcycle creations and share ideas with peers)
  • Discount and shopping options (partner with sustainable brands to provide discounts and information for our users on how to be more sustainable in their daily lives)

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