Posted by: crudbasher | September 6, 2013

Amazing Augmented Reality Sandbox


First check this out. (H/T Wired)

Basically what is happening is there is a camera above the table that can see how the sand is formed. Then it uses a projector to project a graphic onto the sand. The effect is quite remarkable.

The different components used here are not expensive and the project has made their code available on their website. Projects like this are becoming more and more common therefore provide a nice blending of computers and real life.

The educational uses of this are obvious.

From the article:

The exhibits are presented with minimal instruction. Play, curiosity, and self-driven learning are all encouraged. “The power of the sandbox is that it’s trivial to make your own terrain completely from scratch and in moments, without any training,” explains Oliver Kreylos, one of the lead UC Davis researchers on the project. “There’s just no better way to teach how topographic contour lines work, or how water flows over a landscape, than building whatever terrain you can imagine, and then seeing the contours and the water react in real time to any changes you make.”

You can teach physics, ecology, graphics, and architecture (to a certain extent). What would be cool would be to add some computer generate animals and have to build a habitat for them. I need to make one of these for my boy when he gets older!

On an unrelated note, I am on vacation next week until Thursday so I will not be blogging. Have a great week everyone!



  1. I’m a high school teacher in Massena, NY and happen to be president of a nature center that was lucky enough to get some substantial funding. I saw this on another site and looked into it. Clarkson University we be building us one. We hope to make it more “robust” and. Right enough to use in a fairly well lit room. The potential of this technology for education is enormous. I would be happy to discuss ideas about this with anyone interested.

    • You know 10 years ago you couldn’t do this because projectors weren’t bright enough. Now you can have them outside if you want. Good luck on your new facility and if it appears online, let me know and I’ll write about it.

      Thanks for commenting!!

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