Proposal: Augmented Reality

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For my individual project I want to utilize some of the unique spatial features of iBooks Author. At first all I knew was I wanted to use geotracking and augmented reality to do something cool; so far I have three ideas in roughly the same vein:

1. Clemson Murder Mystery- this is the first thing I came up with when thinking about the possibilities of geotracking. It would be a multimodal interactive mystery novel in which you, the "reader", follow a series of prompts which lead you to various locations around Clemson. At these locations, interactive elements are activated which enable you to unravel the mystery. In this way you become PART OF THE STORY-- I'm thinking it starts like this, you obtain an encrypted data file which contains an archive of information relating to some guy's investigation into Thomas Green Clemson's hidden cache of Civil War bullion (the eBook itself IS the data file). You quickly find out that the file's author was murdered and must retrace his steps, encountering various suspects along the way (it would be cool to film a video at a location, then have the "reader" visit that location to activate the suspect video). Physical clues would appear in the form of images super-imposed on the environment using the iPad's camera (thus, augmented reality). My vision of this book somewhat resembles the IDEO concept "Alice" in that there would be branching paths and multiple endings; however, due to time limitations this may prove unfeasible. I would settle for a simple, streamlined mystery scenario that would serve as proof-of-concept. This idea would involve creating basically all the content myself, but it would be really fun.

2. Botanical Gardens Interactive Guide- Dr. Blakesley mentioned this sort of off-the-cuff, but I've visited the Botanical Gardens before and think it would be awesome to create a sort of "field guide" to the various exhibits. This could include detailed information on the various plantlife, some augmented reality displays which categorize the arborium, certainly a GPS-enabled map of the area with labels for each section... lots of possibilities. I think it would be crazy cool to have 3D models of plants for which users could adjust a "season slider" to change their appearance in order to more closely resemble what that plant looks like at a particular stage in its lifecycle. I feel like this idea would be the most impressive as a part of my professional portfolio, plus I may be able to get a lot of the content by collaborating with the garden's staff.

3. Spicy Quest, A Trial By Food- okay so basically the idea is that I create a hybrid restaurant review/interactive challenge that has users going to places that I have indicated and ordering the spiciest food possible. I would video myself eating at each location and providing feedback. Ultimately the goal is to complete the "circuit" of restaurants I have laid out (all within a reasonable radius of Clemson), with the GPS (and possibly some social media addon) serving to track the user's progress. The reward for completion of the quest is the title of Spicy Champion. I kind of like this idea the best because it involves me eating delicious spicy food.



laura8's picture

Well, Mr. F, I like all of

Well, Mr. F, I like all of your ideas so far but the one that intrigues me the most would definitely be the first option. Something just draws me to the idea of a book mixed with elements of a scavenger hunt. If you keep the endings to only one or two, it would allow the amount of content needed to be kept to a reasonable level. For instance, if you have 2 places to go to to gather evidence after receiving a clue, which order they choose to visit them in could affect the outcome of the story. Go to one location and bump into a suspect or object which directs you in a certain way, go to the other and see an event unfold that moves the story one way. I think this idea could be really intriguing and I'd definitely read the book.
I just thought of something else that might walk - you could reward the person who visits all of the optional geographical locations with the best ending. Just an idea.

Botanical Gardens

I love your idea for the botanical garden, mainly because I go there occasionally and love it. I think it would be really cool to have a map and plant guide available to visitors--the garden staff might help you promote it through a sign at the garden's entrance to promote education. The season slider is a great idea, as well. I think if you can do it, you definitely should--I for one would buy that book.

chelsiemess's picture

I love the Botanical Gardens

I love the Botanical Gardens idea. Since gardening is such a popular hobby, you could link to articles on the history and care of different plants. That way home gardeners could evaluate whether or not they could grow the same type of plant in their gardens. Another useful site may be the Clemson Extension website. They have a ton of resources for the home gardener that might integrate well with the information you are already including from the Botanical Gardens.

Meagan757's picture

Murder Mystery

All your ideas are definitely awesome, but the murder mystery idea strikes me the most. Would it be set present-day? or set in the past? Or present-day solving a mystery from the past? The 'augmented reality' sounds so interesting. It would also be pretty funny to see students walking around with their iPads trying to figure out your mystery.

Also, would the ending be altered based on what you 'figure out?' It would be interesting to have two different endings based on the path that the reader took. I'm not sure if you've seen the movie "Savages," but the viewer is left at the end to decide which ending to believe and which was a dream. Your book could do something like that and offer two solutions to the mystery and have the reader chose which one to accept.

Definitely a cool idea- can't wait to try it out!