Enabled Augmented Reality TryOuts
- ENARTO is a concept for a Virtual Shopping Experience using technologies like Motion Capture and Augmented Reality.
During the summer of 2013, our team at India Innovation Labs decided to explore new possibilities of improving the retail customer shopping experience. We wanted to design a delightful and engaging experience, and at the same time create value for all the stakeholders involved. ENARTO was born out of the many fun experiments we had with the Microsoft Kinect.
We were a small team of 3 engineers at India Innovation Labs sharing equal responsibilites for the project. I built the working prototype and the concept video which was used to demonstrate the product to potential clients and customers. I also designed the gesture-based interactions with the menu and the virtual models, and several iterations of the user interface.
We used the video prototyping technique early in the process to demonstrate the concept to potential clients and customers.
"The concept video was able to successfully communicate the idea and obtain valuable feedback from the stakeholders."
While the functional prototype was still under development, the concept video was able to successfully communicate the idea and obtain some valuable feedback from the stakeholders. This helped us refine the functional prototype and also prioritize features for the first iteration.
The functional prototype features motion tracking, virtual jewellery overlays and a gesture-based interface.
This system is also accompanied by a Customer Assistance app which runs on a tablet connected to the system over WiFi. This app can be used by a sales assistant to guide the customer through the jewellery catalog.
Designing interactions for a gestural interface involves many challenges, the most important ones include helping the user discover what interactions are possible and how to perform those interactions. Another challenge was deciding which gestures are natural for users to perform in the given context. We constantly faced these issues while testing with users. The customer assistance application was introduced for the sales assistant to help the user navigate the system.
We wanted the interactions with the virtual jewellery models to feel real and natural. This included deforming the models on touch and movement using mathematical simulations models for jewellery objects and handling occlusion cases accurately.
We used cloth simulation models and basic game-engine physics for modelling collision behaviors of the virtual jewellery objects. This provided an acceptable level of realism in the interactions, without significantly affecting the system speed and performance.