Emerging tech Zapworks

This week we looked into Zapworks and its applications then did a small test ourselves. Zapworks allows the user to set up QR codes that have interactivity with scanning it on your phone then when you look at a certain image or object a 3D model will appear on your phone. This is a very interesting concept and I showcased it myself before when working the Humber science festival as Dan set up the logo to be 3D and we was encouraging the public to use this feature. It seemed to work very well with children using the logos like a picture hunt with the phone, looking for more to scan. I also looked at the official YouTube to see how they show off the software and they showcased it in an advertising setting also, with products coming alive and being animated. After looking at previous uses it helped me understand how I could use it if I take it forward as to not repeat what has been done but to innovate and also to understand its limitations.

The first instance of AR I remember using is the DS AR cards growing up and these allowed you to have your game characters interact with the real world. With Nintendogs it projected the dogs onto the plain AR card and it allowed you to put the card on your table and see your dog do tricks in person. This as a child felt incredibly immersive and brought me a lot of joy and if I was do work in AR I would wish to create an experience that gives people this same feeling.

Following the tutorial was easy to do and had me load into Unity and import test assets, set up an image trainer and add the Zapworks plugin to the project. The image tracker allows Zapworks to be trained for when scanning the image plane to know what it is looking at no matter the rotation to allow for smooth image projection. Setting up the AR camera also went smoothly and I ensured it was a fair distance away from the model to not get blocked. When building the level for the test I had to be careful with the file layout to ensure Zapworks can read them. Once the build was ready I set up the Zapworks level online in the web browser and then It was ready to test.

Test video:

The test video shows off the technology and I thought it was an interesting concept but to me felt a little clunky to use so as a user it turns me away from wanting to take this further. After I had completed the task, even though I was not very interested in the software, I thought on if I was to take AR further and how I would achieve this. Looking at popular AR projects such as Pokémon Go and its hit success across the world I was inspired to think of a similar collecting experience. People with designer brands could do this for their fanbase, with going to different areas for virtual product drops such as shoes or handbags and maybe for example each store had a unique item so the more you go to the more digital items you have. I feel this would be popular as design brands are known for their devote fanbases and would create a sense of community hopefully. I do not wish to do this as my final project as personally it does not interest me but thinking of the idea challenged my creative process. My reasoning expands to also my time limitation as the project would be too grand for the small time scale but was interesting to think of nonetheless.

Niantic (July 6, 2016) Pokemon GO [Video game] Available online: Pokémon GO (pokemongolive.com [Accessed 05 Nov. 2023].

Nintendo (April 21, 2005) Nintendogs [Video game] Available online: nintendogs + cats: Golden Retriever & New Friends | Nintendo 3DS games | Games | Nintendo [Accessed 05 Nov. 2023].

Zapworks (Oct 19, 2018). ZapWorks User Showcase: Studio | BMW G32 – Amalfi. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93v3g1RVl1o&ab_channel=Zappar [Accessed 05 Nov. 2023].

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