Effective navigation can shave off time when you find yourself venturing into unfamiliar spaces. We created AR Building Navigation to experiment with mapping technology and an augmented reality kit for iOS (ARKit).
Navigating New Buildings with Technology to Get to Destinations Faster
When you want to find your destination quickly, moving around new buildings can be a source of frustration in many contexts. For starters, the common physical 2D floor maps are sometimes difficult to interpret. Or the information on the map can be confusingly distributed (too densely/too sparsely). There’s also the language barrier, which can make it cumbersome for people to navigate and get to their destination quickly.
How We Built AR Building Navigation
Building an accurate AR navigation tool first called for getting a rather detailed 3D scan or 2D map of the space. We used ARReference SVG image in this proces, which contains data about the image itself as well as its actual dimensions. After recognizing it, ARKit can calculate the distance and position in relation to the phone with a given image. Upon the detection of the reference image, an anchor is created to position the content relative to its place. The use of the QR code as an image is accidental. Any unique image will work.
ARKit renders content over the camera image by default (LiDAR and the new RealityKit allow us to add occlusion). The walls are cuboids 10cm thick, covered with colorless, obscuring material. We came into a few artifacts.
The SVG map contains a graph with vertices (roughly the center of rooms + door). The room centers are named and can be selected as targets for navigation. After selecting the destination, we added one more vertex to the graph — the user's current position, connected to the visible vertices from the original graphI calculate the path in the graph from the current position to the destination and draw "the route of crumbs."
AR Building Navigation
Navigate Small Buildings/Spaces
The app can be part of an onboarding package for new employers unfamiliar with an office, for example. It swiftly directs users to locations within an office building, and thus can speed up user knowledge of the space.
Navigating Medium-Size Buildings
Without prior familiarity of the place, moving around hotels or malls (medium-size buildings) is a time-consuming process. You want to get somewhere fast but find yourself unable to decipher the big digital map of the mall. AR Building Navigation solves this problem by giving you clear instructions how to get somewhere directly from your smartphone.
Navigating Large Buildings
Airports and hospitals are among the most confusing places for many people to navigate. The sheer size of the building and the many different areas it contains makes it difficult even for people familiar with the place to move with ease. Augmented reality navigation is a useful way of reaching desired destination without unnecessary confusion.
PONS XR Interpreter
PONS XR Interpreter is an augmented reality proof of concept for communication and real-time translation. Built for Magic Leap, XR Interpreter lets professionals work together across distances and languages.View project