JigSpace: Learning in 3D
JigSpace is an app on iPhone that lets you learn in augmented reality.
What is it?
JigSpace is an app where kids can experience augmented reality to learn. The app uses 3D models, reading, descriptions and more to learn about certain subjects. There are a number of 3D interactions you can use called “Jigs”. You can learn about anything from the coral reef to how an espresso machine works. The first step is to aim the camera onto a flat surface so the jig can appear. Once a flat surface is scanned the jig will pop up with a series of informational screens that explain more about the topic selected. You can zoom in and out of the object and also select certain parts of it to learn about specific regions.
JigSpace would be best used for kids in the learning environment. Younger children under the age of 6 may have trouble because the app does require some motor skills in order to pinch and zoom. This app could be used for kids in and out of the classroom. It could be used at home with the family to learn about household objects we see every day. You could take any random thing apart without actually physically doing it. I don’t see this app pertaining to adults without kids very well, because it is very kid-friendly. The colors are bright and the animations are not entirely realistic and the directions are simple. Not every topic is covered. So I think that for kids who have a range of learning that is quite broad and not exact, this would be perfect for. If you’re looking to learn open heart surgery this might not be the app for you.
XR Implementation and Technologies
This app is a perfect example of augmented reality. It uses AR to explore inventions, how-to topics, and more. It takes advantage of your phone camera to scan the room and display 3D models. It requires you to use your location, so it can precisely show accurate sized models. So the GPS location should be on to use your phone's exact location. It uses the space given to show all that it needs to show and nothing more. All this app requires is a flat surface area that is big enough to display something a few feet long.
Strengths and Weaknesses
For students who are visual and hands-on, this app is amazing. It is crucial for students to be able to grasp concepts in the physical world. This app seems like it would make it a lot easier to do that. I read a lot of reviews from teachers in the app store and they love it. I think for me personally if I used it on a bigger device such as an iPad, I could take full advantage of it. On a phone screen, I think it is a bit small. People can create their own Jigs which is such a good idea because the app itself does not come with too many. If you wanted to showcase what you created I think this is a fun way to do it!
A few downsides that I experienced while using it, was frequent crashing, finding a flat surface and it displaying the content in weird areas. The first time I opened the app it crashed, but my phone is old so I stayed positive. Finding a flat surface took a few times to try. Using it in too small of a space might not be the best option. Sometimes when I scanned the area nothing would pop up, then all of a sudden a fish would be in my face. I found that sometimes it displayed the model way too close and I would need to scan again. Once I figured out fully how to use it properly these problems became more minimal. I think the app has more ups than downs and it is a very useful tool.
SLAM and Tracking
In order for this app to work to the best of its ability, tracking technology is a must. It needs to be able to know when and where there is. enough space. There are certain spaces that are not big enough to house a virtual aquarium. JigSpace has SLAM technology built in to look at your surroundings and detect changes in the surface. SLAM is in simple terms is Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. This makes it possible for the technology to know what is around it. It takes visual data from the physical world and defines it in points for the machine to understand.
For the best results use JigSpace in a large area.