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03 Jun, 2023
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Augmented Reality Sandbox

Is All The Hype About Augmented Reality Sandbox Worth It?

Educational institutions are constantly finding new and interactive ways to make the learning process better. These institutions are doing this by exploring different technologies in various situations and activities. Not only in our social life but technology has had a significant impact on the teaching and learning process. Today, digital methods have become the go-to method of teaching as it offers unconventional approaches giving them a motivation to learn. Augmented Reality is the new face of technology that has tried to bridge the gap between the virtual world and the real world. 

What Is Augmented Reality Sandbox?

Augmented Reality Sandbox is an impressive way to present topographic models by shaping sand with geoscience-relevant digital imagery. The evolution of Augmented Reality Sandbox started when the prototype for the same was developed at the Keck Center for Active Visualization in Earth Science (KeckCAVES) at the University of California (UC), Davis. The project was inspired by another project titled ‘Sandy Station’ developed by researchers working in the Czech Republic. The prototype was a hit, and it became an interactive public exhibit for science education. 

How Does Augmented Reality Sandbox Works?

The AR projector needs a computer projector and a motion-sensing device which is then mounted over a box of sand. The second step is to shape the sand in the box so that the camera detects the distance to the sand below. A three-dimensional (3D) model projects the contour lines representing the corresponding topography onto the sand surfaces. Apart from a 3D model, a colour-coded elevation map can also be used to describe the topography better. 

The model is interactive as whenever the user will move the sand, the camera will note the changes, and the projected colours and contour lines will change accordingly. The Augmented Reality Sandbox is a flow simulation model because you would be able to witness the water move across the landscape in accordance with the laws of motion. The virtual water can disappear into the soil or can be drained with the help of a physical button or computer key.  


The Augmented Reality Sandbox is not only a great way to make students understand the complex topography of Earth, but it can prove to be an excellent tool for scientist to pitch their researches to policymakers, funding agencies and the public. The visualization provided by an AR Sandbox is quite strong and powerfully reaches out to the masses. Developers and scientists globally are working on enhancing the capabilities of an Augmented Reality Sandbox. It will be exciting to see various AR Sandbox applications and modifications in the near future. 

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