Augmented Reality is shaping our landscape – literally!

untitled (94 of 123).jpgOver the summer, Brimmer was incredibly excited to bring a new piece of technology to campus that unifies all three divisions through creative exploration, discovery, and pure fun. The addition of an Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox has already captivated the minds and playful spirits of students ages 4-18, and faculty and staff alike. 

The AR Sandbox is a 3 x 2.5 ft. box of pure white sand with a connected projector and sensor suspended above it. The projector displays a topographical map of the surface of the sand, as detected by the sensor. As students move the sand, the sensor detects changes in the shape and elevation of the surface and alters the projection of the contour lines in real time. The sensor also detects specific hand gestures that trigger water to be added into the simulation, allowing students to model how water flows over various types of topography.

In just a short time, our AR Sandbox has already been put to use by our Upper School Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course. As part of an introduction to topographical contouring, students were asked to recreate the topography of Mt. Washington. Using the simulation they created, the class was able to assess drainage and the effects of erosion on the mountain. 

As the year progresses, we can expect to see this sandbox being used to illustrate concepts from a variety of curricula across all three of our divisions. However, perhaps it will see the most action from curious students and adults who just want to take a minute to play – because it is just so cool!

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