Using AR to make my Record Collection Even More Bougie

Using Technology to Seem More Interesting than I Really Am

The Result

People Aren’t Still Really Sure What to Think of AR

I think that Augmented Reality is the 2020 version that the iBeer app was to the iPhone in 2008. Very novel, but no real “use case”.

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There is a ton of misplaced hype around AR. The top tech companies are all vying for the winner take all in the AR space.

The important thing to know about AR is that the technology comes for free on people’s phones and tablets, and as cameras and ML tracking algorithms continue to improve, AR will become more normalized.

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Until then, AR is mainly being used to create fun demos. This is one of those.

I Want My Record Album Cover to be Even Cooler

I’ll be honest.

I bought my BtI record purely to flex. I don’t even own a record player.

And sure, it’s a great table ornament and gives people something to look at when they’re in my room, but what if it could do more? What if it could play my favorite track off the album when hovered over?

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How It’s Done

In order to do this I used image tracking.

Image tracking is an AR method that looks for features in an image and then attaches distinct markers to those features.

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If the detection function agrees that the image is in the photo, a callback function is called.

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Image Tracking was the first popular AR tracking method. This is because they could be loaded into the program before it ran. Real-time plane and object detection is a much harder problem to solve.

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To get the image I simply downloaded a picture of the album cover from the Internet.

Measuring the Album

In order for my iPhone to know how far away the image is, I needed to specify an estimate real life size for the album cover. I didn’t have a tape measure on hand so I just googled it.

Records are around 1ft x 1ft, so I converted that to meters and put it into ARKit.

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Using SceneKit to Tie it All Together

The final step was to use SceneKit to play the video.

SceneKit is an engine that runs on iOS to display different 3D assets.

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In this case, the 3D asset is a plane, and the texture of the plane is the music video.

I took out the first 30 seconds of the video and passed it into SceneKit to be triggered to play when the album cover is in the camera’s view.

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Thanks to the power of technology, I can now seem even cooler at cocktail parties.

Thanks AR!