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Autovation AR Exhibit for OMSI

Autovation AR Exhibit for OMSI


We launched the Autovation exhibit last night at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) with a gala event that included a live demo of the augmented reality environment that comprises the exhibit.  It was an exciting night that brings to a close over six months of very hard work my students––the OMSI Fellows––and I undertook to create this project.  

Autovation, put simply, is an exhibit that combines the analog object of a unibody (a car stripped down to its skeletal bones) with digital technologies to highlight innovations to automotive technology.  Specifically, my students created a User Interface (UI) that reacts to a special marker.  When visitors to the exhibit points the iPad positioned on the unibody where the engine should be, they evoke a 3D model of the engine that rotates to show all of its features.  On the UI, visitors find a button that, when tapped, takes them to a 2D animation that explains the engine's function, and buttons leading to the transmission and fuel injection, as well as text that provides details about innovations to the engine.  Other UIs currently available include Safety and Wheels.  Plans to develop other modules are in the works.

The OMSI Fellows produced close to 500 pages of research into and technical writing for the exhibit since we began developing the project in November.  In addition to this written material, they had to bring together seven different technical components in order to achieve their vision. These included: 1) 3D modelling (using Blender and Unity), 2) AR development for exhibit's tablets (using Metaio), 3) AR development for users' personal iPhones and tablets (using Junaio), 4) 2D animation (using After Effects),  5) web development (using HTML and CSS), 6) interactivity (Unity and javascript), 7) mobile media  (using xcode). They invented strategies for surmounting obstacles caused by software incompatibility, constraints of the medium, and no documentation for doing what they sought to do.  In essence, these 10 undergrads came up with the idea for the exhibit, worked with OMSI to develop the final look of it for the Turbine Room, did all of the writing, coding, designing, and problem-solving for it.

The project was sponsored by Dick Hannah Dealerships and nurtured by OMSI and of course the CMDC Program.



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