Developer Diary Entry #2 Vuforia

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Diary

Developer Diary Entry #2 Vuforia

Since we are indie developers with no money we wanted to go from concept to product as quickly as possible. The best way for us to do this was to use a third party solution for augmented reality. Since AR Flashcards version 2.0 we have been using Qualcomm’s Vuforia SDK. SDK stands for software development kit. We use the Unity 3D extension for our project. Unity is the development environment that we use to create AR Flashcards. The easy implementation of Vuforia allows us to spend our money and time on things like creating 3d content and graphic design. The Vuforia SDK has several different elements that can be used but we currently only use the Image Target solution. This allows us to choose any image we want to be our marker that triggers the AR. In our case we use our beautifully designed flash cards that our graphic designer Denny has created as our image markers. The process is simple yet complicated. The hard part is creating markers to use that have a lot of contrast and subtle differences in them so that Vuforia can differentiate between all the different markers when you are trying to load your different 3d models. There is a lot of trial and error involved when we test this. The easy part is integrating the images with Vuforia. Once you are a registered developer on their website their is a section called Target Manager. This is where you go to upload your image markers for use with the SDK. The cool thing is once you upload your images (in our case it’s our flash cards) Vuforia gives you a star rating for how well they think your image marker will track. 5 stars are the best and is what we shoot for. The better the rating the better you content will track on the marker. Once you upload your markers Vuforia creates a downloadable package to use in your project. I forgot to mention that Vuforia is free!! Other 3rd party AR solutions cost a lot of money to license which is hard to justify when you don’t make any money! Qualcomm does a fantastic job updating their SDK with bug fixes and fantastic new features. They offer a ton of solutions that we hope to utilize more of in the future. Examples of this are cloud recognition, text recognition, virtual buttons, user defined targets and more! They have a lot of great tutorials on their developer site and I encourage any developer that’s interested in AR to check it out. You can have one of their sample projects up and running on a device in minutes. For our 3.0 launch of AR Flashcards we are going to be digging deeper and using more of what they offer!! I’ll update you on what those are as we progress! Thanks for reading! Follow me...

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Developer Diary Entry #1 Intro

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Diary

Developer Diary Entry #1 Intro

My New Years resolution this year is to write more updates on arflashcards.com and I thought what better way to do this then to keep a developer diary as we work towards our HUGE 3.0 launch of the original AR Flashcards app. I think a little intro would be best to start off this developer diary. My name is Heath Mitchell and I’m co-founder of Mitchlehan Media. I’m 35 years old and married with three kids. I’ve been working retail management for my entire adult life. I have an unhealthy obsession with Disney World. I love it. I think it’s the best place on this Earth. I’ve always been a kid at heart and there isn’t any place that encourages that more than Disney. I started Mitchlehan Media with my best friend Dave Callahan. Mitchlehan is simply our last names combined except instead of Mitchelhan we decided to make it look French and make it Mitchléhan because we are silly! AR Flashcards came about from Dave who had been playing with augmented reality at his work. He showed me the String Showcase app and I was blown away by the potential of it. We both thought that augmented reality would be a game changer in education. We got together with Jesiey who designs all of our 3d objects and Denny who creates all the graphics and the wonderful flash cards and we put together version 1 of AR Flashcards within a couple months. It debut on the iOS App Store in Feb 2012 to very little fanfare. In another entry I will talk about the pitfalls of being an indie developer in the App Store. It’s rough! Since 2012 AR Flashcards has come a long way! We completely overhauled the UI and put Dinosaurs in and launched version 2 this past Spring. This past summer is when the app started to take off. Through the magic of Twitter we have met a lot of amazing educators who have showed us how our app has been integrated in their classrooms and it has been extremely rewarding!! In 2014 we are going to be really aggressive in expanding AR Flashcards. We have three subjects we are adding plus a ton of 3d content! We will hopefully be adding different “packs” for each subject so for example with the Alphabet you could choose between the current models or maybe a “pack” that is all sea animals or a “pack” that is all African animals and so forth! We’ve previously announced the first subject that will be added will be Colors and Shapes. The other two subjects will be announced as we progress! We think we have a unique way to do this and we are going to do it in a circus theme that we are excited about! This first entry has gotten longer than I though so I’m going to wrap...

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