Testing the waters of open-source design with AR.js Studio

We are a group of interaction designers passionate about immersive technologies and extended realities. A few years back, we had a chance to explore some emerging ideas in the field of XR, and we have been looking for opportunities to pursue them ever since. We hadn’t found one until recently when we saw an article by Nicoló Carpignoli that resonated with us: It was a call to join and contribute to the open-source web AR project — AR.js Studio.

AR.js Studio is an open-source tool that enables creators to build and publish AR projects straight to the web without any coding knowledge. We are contributing to the project to make this exciting medium more accessible and explore the emerging practices of open-source design.

It’s been a few months since we started working on it, and our experience so far is very rewarding. We want to experiment with how we can continue to collaborate successfully while remaining distributed and fluid. To explore and establish new practices for open-source design, we are inviting designers to collaborate on one of the project tracks.

Product

We’ve been working to develop the UI assets for the MVP of the AR.js Studio. The project is coming to life and the MVP will be publicly available soon. After the launch of the MVP, we will be able to learn more about the usage of this tool and potentially start the conversation on how the tool might evolve in the future.

Follow the progress on GitHub
Download the initial UI assets from Figma

Communication

We’ve created a communication starter kit for the AR.js launch. We were thinking about something that would be loud and useful in 2D and 3D environments. Although we defined the visual language, we want people to play with it, remix it, and define it again.

Communication starter kit on our website
Download assets from Figma file

Research

We’ve started exploring the broader space of AR and features that are unique to the technology behind the AR.js Studio. We aim to organize the information we gather and produce digestible artifacts to inspire creators interested in AR. The artifacts can take different forms — articles, educational tools or events, experiments, or prototypes.

Here are some questions that are brewing in our heads:

  • Who are AR creators?
  • What’s inspiring about AR for people who are not creators?
  • What is a virtual public space?
  • What unique experiences could location-based AR inspire?
  • What can spatial apps do that normal apps can’t?
  • If AR creation is easier, will it help make people’s lives easier?
  • What are other forms of AR besides 3D objects placed in a video feed?

Fill the questionnaire here
Explore the technology on Github (AR.js)
Try out this tutorial
Propose a format, prototype, or an experiment.

We are planning to share more thoughts about our findings in this field and learnings on open-source design practice. Feel free to reach out to us and say hi@swallowtwice.com.

Swallow Twice is an interaction design studio distributed all around the 🌍. We are a fluid network of designers and creative technologists working together to explore and expand the boundaries of future products and services.

www.swallowtwice.com

A fluid network of designers and creative technologists working together to explore and expand boundaries of future products and services. hi@swallowtwice.com

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