Group 3: Location-Based Augmented Reality Graffiti

Our current working idea is to implement a web application meant to be used on mobile devices that will allow users to take advantage of augmented reality to share graffiti art on physical locations without them actually physically being there. Originally, all we had in mind was an app that would keep track of user location and would allow them to “drop” digital messages at certain spots which other users could see when going to that location with the app. We have since changed to our current plan for a few reasons which we will outline below.

One of the first things we changed was deciding to make a web application meant to be used on mobile devices rather than making an app directly. By developing our idea with responsive web design we can create an application that is quickly and easily accessible to a wide range of devices. No matter what device the user prefers to use, they can create messages and graffitti if it has a web browser. This also relates to the fact that we are constrained by time. We only have one semester to have a product, so we want to focus on producing a web application before considering developing specifically for android devices, iOS devices, or other similar devices. Finally, we all have experience using APIs to create web application. In addition to that, there are several existing APIs for augmented reality, mapping, and navigation.

We also changed our original idea of simply using text to instead using graffiti combined with augmented reality for visual art. With our original idea, there was nothing we weren’t familiar with. By implemented augmented reality, we can learn something new while challenging ourselves at the same time. Moreover, the concept of augmented reality to share messages and graffiti is a great way to combine artistic expression with the real world using technology. We are researching which existing API would be most suitable to implement our ideas on a web application. We are also considering what exactly we will allow users to share using our application. Will they be able to just draw messages and graffiti, or will they have to ability to integrate text, and audio with their messages as well?

The decision to make our app location based was decided on for a couple of reasons. We liked the idea of users having to physically go to certain areas to see the content to encourage users to discover new places while expressing themselves. The concept of having different messages or graffitti in specific locations would also help users get inspiration for what they are sharing. Someone near a pond may share a drawing of an augmented reality duck, while someone near a building may share a mural drawn on the wall.

We are also exploring the benefits and downfalls of developing an application that allows for people to anonymously share messages and drawings. The obvious risk here is obscene or offensive art. Since we want our app to be targeted towards those in high school and college mainly, we have to make sure we are ready to censor anything to offensive. One idea we have is a voting feature where users can vote on murals and if a certain piece gets enough negative votes, it could automatically be removed. Another obvious idea that comes to us is to add in a report feature, but that would put a lot of stress on us to make sure obscene art gets removed timely. We are currently looking into other possibilities that could address the issue.

Basically, we arrived at our current idea to help challenge ourselves more by having to learn augmented reality and take advantage of camera visuals. We hope to allow anonymous users to be able to express themselves freely. By implementing location as a necessity, we incorporate liveness as users must go to the origin of where any art was created to view it themselves. This allows the user to put themselves in the place of the creator and imagine what they were thinking as they were drawing.