The Augmented Reality Sandbox

  • Learning stories
  • Curiosity

A topographic map made of sand, changing color in real time as you dig and reshape the landscape? Sounds like an exhibit from a science or technology museum – but this project was constructed by students at ISP.

The Upper School Engineering Club, one of dozens of after-school activities available to Upper School Students at ISP, chose to build what they called the Augmented Reality Sandbox. The project took the students over a year to construct, and they ultimately showcased their Augmented Reality Sandbox in a series of demonstrations to the school community, taking in all sections of the school, Leadership, Faculty, Staff Parents and visitors.

How does it work? A 3D-sensing camera is pointed at the surface of the sand, and sends depth information to a computer, which processes and color-codes the image, which is then projected back onto the surface of the sand. When a student digs in the sandbox and the depth changes, the color-coded map changes to reflect the new topography.

The delighted responses of all how took the time to check out the Augmented Reality Sandbox show how curiosity and persistence are rewarded at ISP.