New Age of AR in Children’s Storybook
Using Augmented Reality for an interactive children’s story book to encourage recycling.
Remember how easy learning was with all the animated diagrams and interactive 3D visualization during school? Not like those 2-dimensional chalkboard drawings that you’d not only have to recreate on your own notebook, but would require you to visualize in your head just how they’d look and work? Yeah, us neither.
Now, Augmented Reality (AR) is definitely taking over in not only the entertainment and retail industry, but also in education. It allows for a completely new and easy method for learning, whether you’re a 3rd year medical student learning about surgical procedures or toddlers learning about animals. Together with HEI Schools Senayan, we’ve taken a stab at exploring new ways AR can be implemented in children’s education tools.
With the pandemic keeping everyone sanctioned at home, in-person school activities were put on hold. Our friends at HEI Schools Senayan has been adapting to the situation with various online classes and activity kits they send out to their students to give them fun projects they can do while educating and fostering good behavior from an early age.
They wanted to create a storybook to encourage recycling and teach kids on what things they can make just by using leftover boxes they can find at home. Collaborating together, we’ve added an extra Augmented Reality element to make the storybook come to life.
WHAT CAN I MAKE?
From creating cars out of leftover cardboards, an oven, and even a rocket suit, each page features individual projects/activities they can do accompanied by fun animations to make them more dynamic and interactive.
Animation visualizing how they’re made, such as the oven project, also helps assist kids in understanding how the final result came to be from two-dimensional flat cardboards. Say no more to traditional origami assembly instruction sheets.
Our friends at HEI Schools Senayan definitely already have their own brand theme that caters well to children — using an array of colorful and bright colors to attract and maintain kids’ attention.
Working with illustrator Liunic on Things and her already bright and bold style of illustration, the storybook and characters were first illustrated and made.
Nowadays, children are very adept at handling new devices and can already be seen as very tech-savvy. Being exposed to technology, devices and the internet their whole lives, they’re able to interact with touch screens, swipe, talk about “passwords” and “internet connections” when we’re still trying to teach some of our parents to use video calls!
It’s then safe to say that they’re able to respond to AR and its interactions much easier than most people would think. Implementing augmented reality in their education would help hold their attention longer while delivering information in an easier to digest way.
With that goal in mind, we’ve expanded the traditional storybook and explored 3D and AR elements to enhance the storybook experience. We first created 3D models of the AR elements we want to appear in Blender, along with adding animations we want to happen during both default and interaction mode.
We then added the AR interactions using Unity, such as being able to tap to expand the oven back and forth from flat cardboards to a three dimensional oven for visual aid in the making process.
With all said and done, we loaded up the .apk file to test it out and did any necessary tweaks until all interactions and animations are running smoothly.