Augmented Reality Sandbox

Early Exploration in Tangible Interfaces. How do semantic interactions within educational installations support learning?


Explore the impact of sensory and tangible interactions on STEM learning.

The AR Sandbox was originally created by Hiroshii Ishii out of the MIT Media Lab in 2002, and then made open-sourced by Oliver Kreylos' lab at UC Davis. Real-time topography is generated from the sand's surface, and projected directly onto the white sand — becoming a live, three-dimensional topographic map. We built this tabletop interface with the open-sourced data and software, as a pre-curser to potential adaptations for transmedia storytelling, tangible gaming, and visualizing urban community development potential. Referenced as part of my Masters research project, it was built as a means of observing embodied interactions within a STEM learning context, in an effort to understand how to similarly design multisensory interactives for a cultural history application.

This demo is on-display in the Ryerson University Digital Media Experience Lab in addition to off-site locations such as the Royal Ontario Museum and TIFF digiPlaySpace. We hoped to build the foundations for future graduate students to pursue research and development using the Sandbox as a platform in the MDM program.

  • Category: Research (Master of Digital Media)
  • Date: April 2015
  • Team: Josh Clavir, Diana Ibranovic