MonChronik geobased augmented reality app
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MonChronik – a location-based augmented reality app
for the city of Monheim am Rhein
Introduction
What is this project about?
The geo-based augmented reality app MonChronik shows a virtual goose that leads tourists to sights and attractions selected by the user. Here, the goose walks ahead in the mobile device’s display and indicates the correct path. If the user stops, so does the goose after a few seconds and it waits until the journey is continued.
On the way, small speech bubbles appear that, after being clicked, show information about other important points for tourists, such as the train station, the tourism agency for the city of Monheim, the shopping center, bicycle rentals, etc.
Furthermore, the premises of several attractions can be discovered with a 360° panorama view.    


Considerations
In this project, we are responsible for the migration of the app from the metaio AR SDK to the Wikitude AR SDK and the development of version 2.0 and higher.
In addition, a bug in the previous app version 1.x needed to be fixed, as apparently the goose would randomly disappear from the display after some time and would never come back. The collection of up-to-date geodata for the calculation of the exact positions of the user and his or her average walking speed especially represented a challenge.

Used applications, SDKs, APIs, and frameworks:
Wikitude SDK, Google Maps Geolocation API, CoreLocation, Javascript, Java, ObjC, HTML5, CSS3, Photoshop, 3dsMax, Xcode, Android Studio.


Get the app at the app stores:
Google Play
iTunes
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

PHASE 1

Prototyping
Persona, characteristics of our typical user
Tourists in the city of Monheim am Rhein.

pictures below:  style guide, corporate identity of the city of Monheim (Germany), class and navigation  diagrams of the app project
Design development details

3D models
Adaptation, compression and export of the 3D-model goose for compatibility with the Wikitude-SDK. 

Pictures below: the goose mesh in low poly, its texture and animation list.
User test no 1
of the very first prototype
The goose did not walk ahead at the tempo adapted to the user. During the very first outdoor test, the goose disappeared from the display, even after migration to Wikitude AR-SDK; it did not remain in a consistent position in the display, rather it “jumped” around randomly or never returned at all.

pictures below:
screenshots of the prototype after the app migration, during an outdoor test near our office
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

PHASE 2

Implementation of a LocationProvider that gathers the current location data from GPS, Wi-Fi and the network provider.
Update of the user interface with a new layout and new graphics both for iOS and Android.


User test no 2
Additional tests ran satisfactorily under different conditions. We were able to satisfactorily fix the bug.  
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

PHASE 3
Per request from the customer, we added 360° panoramas for particular attractions.

Test no 3
The navigation back to the augmented reality portion with the goose from the 360° panorama resulted in a new bug in the used augmented reality SDK (both the iOS and Android version). After navigating back to the augmented reality portion with the goose, no JavaScript was executed there, which resulted in the complete scene no longer starting and therefore no virtual goose appearing either.    

PHASE 4
The development team of the used augmented reality SDK was informed about the bug. Concerning the iOS version, we had found a workaround, but not for the Android version. After this bug was fixed in the  AR Android SDK, we were able to conclude the project.
CONCLUSION

The geo-based augmented reality app is an interesting application in the areas of tourism and leisure.



NEXT STEPS

The app can be further improved as follows:
Gamification, competition
Users can collect points while on-the-go at certain geo-positions and, for example, redeem these points at different retail locations. 

Relaunch of the app:
Version 2.0 in autumn 2016.
Version 2.1 February 2017

Get t Google Cardboard app
Get the app at the app stores:
Google Play
iTunes

Credits:
AVK Terwey, Stadt Monheim a. R.