AR Creature Scanner

The Creature Scanner device was one of the more elaborate amongst the installations.  The spatial setup involved a wall to which were fixed a number of ‘marker’ icons.  The handheld device was essentially a small, touch screen monitor which displayed the video feed from a webcam that was mounted at the rear.  Computer Vision software allowed the game to recognise particular icons from the wall and overlay the webcam feed with 3D character animations in the manner of Augmented Reality (AR).

To pass the game, a player was required to locate the characters of the ShardUp family who were hiding amongst the symbols on the wall.  Once the appropriate symbol was located by the user aiming the webcam at it, the character would appear.  At this point the player used the touch screen capability in order to ‘grab’ the character in a ‘tractor beam’ and drag him to the icon marked “trash can”.  The player would repeat this process until all the ShardUps were captured, at which point the solve to a clue in the greater LBG would be revealed.

Observations of player interactions

The main allure of the Creature Scanner for players seemed to be the complexity of physical interaction afforded by the controller device.  There was (when compared with the other installations) a lesser degree of virtualisation between the conceptual game and the actual activity.  This tended to promote the suspension of disbelief in the game.

Being one of the more difficult controller devices to use (especially for younger children with less developed motor function) many players required several attempts before getting the hang of Ghost Scanner yet persevered because the pay off mastering it was so satisfying.

AR image collage

SCOOT Players using the AR Creature Scanner

Collaborators

  • Tom Killen
  • Dean Loades

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