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  • Writer's pictureHisar NEXUS

OutAR Space

Augmented reality (AR) is defined as a real-time direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment that has been augmented by adding virtual computer-generated information to it. As AR combines real and virtual objects registered in a 3-dimensional platform, it is a potent and interactive tool with interdisciplinary applications in education, healthcare, science, engineering, and mathematics.

OutAR Space was a mobile app made by HisarCS that was aimed to guide children to learn directions through a space-themed Augmented Reality (AR) guide, the application challenged children to help the lost alien Bobo return home by completing the direction-asking tasks given by the application and assemble Bobo’s rocket.

The reasoning behind the app being developed lay in what second-grade primary school teachers reported in a conducted interview. Educators noted that in the post-quarantine teaching process, the most apparent shortcomings of the students was in the ability to distinguish between left and right. Unlike standardized homework or extra-work assignments, the app aimed at aiding students through a “learning by doing” experience, as well as in a narrative form to immerse students in the subject.

Starting off with simple directions such as “left”, “right” and “straight”, supported by continuous visual and auditory feedback such as changing colors, players were able to easily understand whether their attempts were successful or not, actively enabling classical conditioning progress that facilitates learning. Aiming to capture the interest of children of all types of learners, auditory learning, where learners gain information by listening, was implemented in all directions throughout the game. The voiceover feature of the application, allowed both auditory learners and children who had not yet learned to read can take advantage of the feature.

Repeated playing of games which are implement strategy and combination is known to be effective in learning, furthermore adding on a timer to measure the time it took for completion creates a sense of competition, pushing students to learn faster and achieve the shortest time possible. Breaking through the division of games and educational materials required a broad understanding of what made games so attractive and how that could be used to eliminate the possible loss of interests students feel when learning. OutAR Space was made up of 10 distinct levels, each level having a different path that took the player to the desired rocket part which was marked with a color. The moves players take make were given in the form of shapes as that was discovered to be as simple as possible to understand.

Going forwards, the team aims to make it so that the app encourages children to be more active through sports and dance tutorials. The system would be able to simultaneously observe the user, evaluate their performance, and give feedback on the user’s activity. Another goal is to use AI algorithms to optimize the learning experience of the children by analyzing their data and performance patterns while using the app. Furthermore, the algorithm would suggest which type of learning application is best for the child.

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