Type: Platform for story-based science learning games utilizing augmented reality and context-awareness
Purpose: Provide educators and learners an easy way to create, deploy and share context-aware learning games that leverage the power of augmented reality and the ManySense middleware.
Place: anywhere (Ajou University)
Technologies: Client: Android, GPS, Vuforia AR SDK; server: J2EE servlet, MySQL; sensors.
Contributors: Renny Lindberg, Daehwan Kim, Teemu H. Laine, Hae Jung Suk, Eeva Nygren, Amir Dirin, Nina Hytönen and Joonas Westlin.
Building on the foundations of the ManySense middleware and the CaloryBattle AR architecture, ScienceSpots AR is a platform for creating story-based science learning games that take the advantage of augmented reality and context-awareness. It combines combines portability, extensibility, context-awareness, augmented reality, gaming, motivational features and educational content in a seamless way to make science learning fun and engaging.
The platform provides a pedagogical playground at any location to help the students understand different concepts of science through interaction and experimentation with real and virtual (AR, digital content) objects. The platform is based on a distributed system architecture which is both portable and extensible. Portability of the architecture ensures that the system can be used across environments, cultures and contexts, whereas extensibility sets the foundations for future development and adaptation
The ScienceSpots AR contains a series of story-based games on different science disciplines. Each story (i.e. game) has a topic and virtual characters that interact with the learner. These characters guide the learner through a story which is divided into chapters and supports multiple paths and difficulty levels. A story contains any number of tasks related to the topic. These tasks are based on the combination of real objects and virtual objects. For example, in a biology story the learner might see a task related to a virtual squirrel omitting sounds typical to squirrels and sitting on a real tree branch. This dynamic combination of the real world and the virtual game world can transform any physical context to support multi-sensory learning experiences. Figure 1 illustrates the ScienceSpots AR concept. Individual tasks can become context-aware through the ManySense middleware connection. The ScienceSpots AR also includes a web-based content editor that allows easy editing, sharing and publishing of game content from any computer platform.
UbiLife at Ajou University is collaborating in this project with Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and University of Eastern Finland. The first prototype game Leometry developed on the platform was completed in Spring 2014 and tested at the SciFest 2014 festival.