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Augmented Reality Sandbox

Oceanit's Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox helps model & communicate the complexity of coastal regions and their geographic, geologic, and hydrologic principles

When sea levels increase rapidly, it can result in destructive effects on coastal regions. As seawater extends inland, it can bring about devastating erosion & flooding, contamination of soil & water levels, and loss of habitat for birds, plants, and marine life.

To demonstrate the impacts of sea level rise, erosion, and coastal flooding in an immersive and interactive method, Oceanit created our Augmented Reality sandbox, based on open source research from the University of California, Davis. By combining an actual sandbox with a 3D motion-tracking camera, digital projector, and computer, Oceanit can model coastal topography change.

Within the sandbox, sea levels can be adjusted, infrastructure pieces can be placed in the sandbox, and simple hand motions can induce rainfall to demonstrate run-off pathways.  While it can often be difficult to visualize a 2D map, the learning tool’s interactive 3D topographical map adjusts to visually demonstrate topographical differences using color and contour lines as the sand is used to shape mountains, valleys, and waterways. 

This powerful outreach tool allows us to sculpt unique or imitative landscapes, while the camera tracks changes in the sand’s elevation and projects a virtual topography with corresponding elevation colors. Leveraging both playful learning and visualization, the AR sandbox supports education and understanding of geographic, geologic, and hydrologic principles.  The AR sandbox also connects to Oceanit's work on artificial reefs; working to develop sustainable reefs from coral debris that can protect vulnerable shorelines and create sustainable marine habitats.

Oceanit's AR sandbox provides an unique and interactive way to demonstrate climate change and its effects on shorelines to the community.

Watch our video and if you would like to learn more, please contact Oceanit.