Newton AR — Spring Proof of Concept

For my proof of concept, I took a slight pivot from my previous iteration that I presented at the end of fall semester.

Based on my feedback from the previous iteration, it became apparent that the part of my presentation that was most compelling was the intersection between physical objects and the AR objects.

In my deep dive explorations afterward, I looked into what these interactions might look like, and how I could incorporate the physical with AR. I wanted to be mindful and still keep the beneficial parts of my previous prototype, such as visualizing objects and being able to manipulate variables. Things like learning through collaboration, games, and scaffolding were also things I wanted to keep in the prototype.

Though I originally had wanted to make a tool that taught physics without the teacher, I realized it made more sense as a product that augmented the teacher’s curriculum, rather than replacing it. I see my new concept sitting after the teacher introduces the concept, helping to solidify the concept.

Below are all of the materials needed in order to use my experience. I switched from a mobile device and IPad to using a Google Cardboard. Beforehand, I had struggled with how the user might hold the mobile device for long periods of time. However, I recently discovered that there were some projects where some developers had hacked the Google Cardboard in order to use it as an AR device rather than a VR device.

There are age restrictions on wearing the Cardboard with a strap. Once it becomes a device that is attached to the head, a student must be 13+ years of age to use it. Luckily for me, based on the physics content I want to teach, I have actually increased my user group’s age to 9th graders, so this was no longer a problem for me. Most 9th graders are already 13 years of age, so this is not a deterrent to using the cardboard for my project.

One of the things that I learned from my research was that resources, especially in public schools, was quite limited. For that reason, I wanted to keep all of my materials as accessible as possible. All of the cards and controls would be made of paper.

Below are some snapshots of the types of interactions that I explored. On the left is an object card, while on the right is an environment card. Both are objects that the students can easily manipulate. Changing the mass of an object and changing the environment in which objects make it easier for students to see the situations in their own environment.

Object and Environment Cards.

The part that I personally had the most fun with, and I think is one of the interesting interactions of my project, is how to use paper as a control. (dial, slider, button, etc.) Originally, I had wanted to use everyday objects as controls. However, since I am planning on developing small demos of my solution, I really wanted to make it actually work from a technical standpoint. Therefore, I thought of tracking paper dials as a good, accessible, and interesting way to make controls.

One point of feedback that I had gotten about this dial interaction was that the dial was too small, and fingers would cover up the dial, which would make it difficult for the phone to track it’s positioning.

I had the same issue with this interaction, where I use a pen as a control as well. The biggest concern I have about this particular interaction is that the occlusion will affect whether or not this will be possible.

I also did some exploration into how the numbers would be displayed while the dial is spinning. Although I had originally envisioned that the numbers would be displayed on top of the physical dial, I realized that this would be awkward since the fingers would be on the dial, and projecting numbers over the fingers would be awkward and difficult to read. For my next iteration, I am planning on being more mindful about where the numbers might appear.

Lastly, I need to tie all of these interactions and cards together. For these formula cards, I will us AR to project what types of cards the student needs to put down in order to complete the formula. I will probably need to make a similar type of instructional content for the challenge cards. I’ll need to be sure that the students know what they need to do, and have ample instructions. I think there’s a lot of flexibility in how the instructions can be displayed, and I’m excited to explore this in the following iteration.

Although this is a good start in tying together the cards, in my next presentation, I need to walk the audience through a full journey of playing my game. I’m planning on walking the students through two versions — “explore” and “challenge”.

Feel free to reach out at with questions and comments!