Joaquim Rocha
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Augmented Reality at Igalia’s 10 Years Anniversary

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    Joaquim Rocha
  • Principal Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft

This is a long pending post. It should have been written about 3 months ago but only now we found the time to do it.

Some of us in Igalia have been interested in Augmented Reality (AR) and Computer Vision (CV) for a while and we wanted to do something within these fields for the company’s 10th anniversary party which took place in last November. Since our time was limited (due to our work in a client’s project) we came up with a simple AR installation to show at the party — a fish pond, or aquarium.

So a week before the party Edu and I bought a Kinect device and implemented this fish pond using OpenFrameworks, an Open Source framework for writing interactive applications using C++. As you might notice from the pictures, we are more programming artists than graphical artists so the fish may look a bit funky but they’re drawn in only 10 lines of code using graphics functions (and I kinda like their looks). Due to limitations of the place where we installed the application, we had to place the projector in a lower angle instead of above the “action area” and this of course resulted in bigger shadows but people could still play with it without many issues.

The fish’s behavior was implemented using Reynolds’s algorithms and the idea is that when a person “touches” the pond, the fish will go there as if there was food being dropped. When the person stops touching the pond, the fish will hang for a little while and then will disperse randomly to other points of the pond.

As you see, the idea is pretty simple but it was a nice entertainment for kids and grown ups around the party.

We will likely be doing more AR and CV for the coming months so stay tuned!