Virtuart provides an experience that exists at the intersection digital immersion and physical space, utilizing 3D space mapping technology that can discern graphical overlay, placement, and distance.
This app provides people an easy and delightful way to draw on the world around them by utilizing their phone camera and augmented reality technology. The AR drawing experience operates in real-time and allows one to interact with their environment on-the-spot.
Moreover, it’s a way for users to leave a digital footprint for others to discover—time capsules of experiences attached to a particular location. To this end, Virtuart is also intended to be a digital community and social media platform for users to find and engage with each other's creations.
Virtuart is a project that I am conceptualizing and undertaking as a personal practice. Though I will follow the process model for UX design (including user research), this project is not forecasted to ship or become a real product.
Currently, one of the most common devices for digital art seems to be the smartphone, and their mixed reality technologies have been advancing at an unprecedented rate. Google has been a pioneer in mobile VR, first with Cardboard and now with Daydream. These efforts alone are leading to a myriad of mobile AR and VR apps. The enhancement of software and smartphones are also paving the way for more progress in this new, fascinating field. Here’s a look at some existing products that use augmented reality.
Below are images of Color & Play (Disney), 1600 (White House Historical Association), Reality Editor AR (Valentin Heun), and View in My Room 3D (Houzz).
I spoke to twenty individuals from the ages 18–25 for their thoughts and predictions on mixed reality. Most expressed mixed sentiments, though almost all predicted that there would be a resurgence of AR/VR into mainstream media in the future.
AR is the future. It’s not commercially viable in its current form, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a lot of potential.
I’m totally on this bandwagon. This will be integrated in my life as soon as I can afford it.
After AR and VR, I would love to have dream reality.
Virtual reality is overrated, but augmented reality’s applications are boundless.
I’d use AR to put virtual memes everywhere.
GPS augmented reality built into my car’s windshield would be helpful.
An AR drawing app would be cool. Like Snapchat filters but with 3D space mapping.
Shut up and take my money already!
VR and AR aren’t a passing fad. They’re just still being developed. The two will probably become integrated over time.
I think that VR will probably thrive as a gaming platform. Though, as a gamer, I can say that it’s not too popular with the majority of us.
There’s an app called Magic Leap that creates mixed reality and your brain won't be able to tell the difference between real and fake. It sounds both amazing and creepy… that might be what we’re gearing towards with this new technology.
I'm just waiting for the day Microsoft Hololens becomes about the size of normal glasses and is affordable.
I don’t see a lot of productive uses of VR/AR, outside of gaming.
Mixed reality will be like 3D. Companies think its the future, but consumers don’t give a crap.
In what mainstream environment can VR or AR really outperform the desktop or phone?
I’m not sure what the market would be.
I’m more concerned about privacy.
VR and AR are dead. Consumers have been over-promised and under-delivered.
VR/AR won’t ever be truly useful.
It seems years after this technology has been on the market — in each form, one struggles to justify its use.
Potential for a lot of bad (Read: Black Mirror).
According to Gartner hype cycle, experts predict that AR and VR sit around the disillusionment trough of the hype cycle and thus, estimate that there will be at least five more years before mixed reality finds renewed interest.
According to the 2016 AR/VR Survey Report conducted among 650 AR/VR startup founders, the two greatest challenges facing mixed reality is lack of content and the public being slow to embrace mixed reality.
Keeping these survey responses in mind, I worked to circumvent common AR/VR roadblocks in my own project.
The question with these problems is not if we will solve them, but rather when we will solve them.
This is Jade. She likes social media, drawing, and meeting like-minded creatives. Through sharing her work on Virtuart, she can engage with and meet other creatives.
As the saying goes, “A good start is half the battle." Before going into user interface design, I made sure to polish the features and user interaction flow.
The following feature flowcharts describe the content strategy and user flow through the app, listing potential features users may interact with. The creation of flowcharts are the basis for refining the workload necessary for developers and higher-fidelity designs later on, and for discovering potential issues behind the product in a quick and time-efficient way. This app serves as both an area for interacting with augmented reality as well as a social media platform for projects to be shared in a community.
When the user starts the app, they will be led through a Sign In or Sign Up and onboarding process before proceeding to their default screen, the Home Feed, which houses a footer navbar. The navbar has five tab options:
1) Feed & Search — where users go to see their friends' and community's activity
2) Map & Nearby Posts — where users go to see geographically nearby posts
3) Camera — where users go to interact with AR and prepare posts for sharing
4) Alerts & Messages — where users go to view notifications and private messages
5) Profile & Settings — where users go to view their public profile and settings
Sign in with social media
In the Home tab, users will need to authorize location tracking before being shown the Feed. Much like Instagram's feed interface, users have the option to scroll through one post at a time, each containing a link to the creator's profile.
Comments (by holding comment button)
Elongated feed view
Lightbox (by tapping image)
In the Search tab next to Feed, users may locate works by their tags, creator, and location.
Filter for search
Filter » User results
Elongated feed view
Filter » Location results
Filter » Tag results
If the Nearby tab is opened before the Home tab, users will need to authorize location tracking before seeing the Nearby Map. On the map, there is a carousel of nearby posts that they may browse through. The map will highlight the post correlated with each card on the carousel, revealing the location of each post. To view the post associated with that location on the map, users may tap on the card.
Alternatively, users may pan and zoom on the map to find works nearby.
View post from map
FTU Tooltip instructions
FTU Tooltip instructions
After first post
After 1st hour
This is a style guide for Virtuart's brand and mobile application. This style guide contains colors, typography, grids, navigation bars, buttons, icons, and fields.
The grid is responsive to the size of the viewport.
3D models created in Adobe Illustrator using the blend tool.