Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) Design

So far these have been personal projects but I'd love to develop some for clients!

Resources Used

  • Windows and Mac, iPad Pro

  • Affinity Designer

  • Adobe Animator

  • Adobe Aero

Need an AR Interface?

If you're interested in hiring me for a UX/UI or AR position (especially in Europe), please contact me

About this AR Solar System

Hi everyone! Here's a little peek at my Augmented Reality (AR) Solar System. I created this for my sons, Freedom & Khan, in November of 2021.

 

WHY DID I CREATE THIS?

I became incredibly interested in Augmented Reality before it was even a "thing." I started playing the popular MMORPG game EverQuest in 1999 and I had the idea that we, humans, could utilize animated, illustrated worlds, for more than just games. I thought we could use these worlds through which we could conduct business (basically video conferencing before video conferencing was a "thing"), then I had the idea, "Wait... instead of US going INTO the illustrated world, why not bring the illustrated world TO us,.. by placing the illustrated world in our environment?"

 

At the time, everyone thought I was crazy. Back then, technology was nowhere near where it needed to be in order to facilitate the development of these accomplishments and interactions. In addition to the technology not being advanced enough, the practicality and applicability simply wasn't there to stimulate business into investing in its development.

 

That didn't stop me, though. Even though I had a successful career in engineering, I went back to graduate school to pursue a degree in Communication. I read everything I could and even conducted some studies and created some projects, focused on Human Computer Interaction, New Communication Technologies, and on Virtual Community Development, having been interested in how humans could work in teams and organizations efficiently, through mediated means, through "virtually" developed communities. So, I got all the background I needed, but technology still wasn't up to speed with what I wanted to do. I filled in that gap teaching Communication at Universities and doing Learning Experience Design, & User Design.

 

Now things are very different, thankfully.

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

I finally feel like the tools needed to create these applications are on the edge of where they need to be. I think industry is finally taking notice of the time-saving and money-saving capabilities of virtual product design (3D design and prototype rendering) and virtual organization (think Zoom, Teams, etc.). I believe we are at a place now where consumers can finally engage with and use the applications we can develop, since almost every consumer has access to a smart phone, computer, or tablet.

 

I also think we're on the verge of an explosion of a new widespread device. Information on new device proliferation often says for new technologies to make it to a consumer market, expect 5-10 years. I truly believe we're in the gap now - the gap where most everyone COULD use their phones to access and use the applications, and the early adopters of AR devices (maybe something like Google glasses, used instead of an Oculus headset, so you could wear them about town to see AR assets, gee, just like Pokemon Go), could use the new technologies until everyone else gets the new device.

 

WHAT TOOLS DID I USE TO CREATE THIS? To create this little solar system, I used Affinity Designer to illustrate the elements you see. I separated them onto layers so that they'd stand out from each other. Then I used Adobe Animator to create the simple twinkling animation of the stars, so they'd change from red to white to blue. Next, I used Adobe Aero to place all the items and separate them out in space, using mostly the Z-axis drag, to make the items look 3D. Then I added the triggers to each item and the behaviors, so as to accomplish a proximity information button pop-up, the sound automatically playing, and whenever you close one planet's text screen, the button for the next one pops up, to create a "guided" tour of the solar system.

 

THOUGHTS

I hope you enjoy this little peek at my AR solar system project. I'm really looking forward to creating more of these, and to improving the user experience and user interface/interaction, with various designs. If you're interested in more, please contact me.

If you made it this far and you like what you're reading, the magnificent flying beast might just hold a surprise for you.