Three Little Pigs Augmented Reality Book

 

Client: IncredeBooks via Mercury Active
Role: App Development, Prototyping

 

Technologies:

 
 

The Challenge

The age old children's story book filled with beautiful images on every page. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who can't recall their favourite children's book. But times have changed and there are two things we know, kids don't put down technology and parents want to share the experience of a good book with their kids. To capture this trend Mercury Active, AM Productions and Karman Interactive teamed up to bring a new type of storybook experience to families using augmented reality.

Embracing the technology kids are playing with, an app would be created to accompany physical books and used to bring the pages to life. Karman needed to use augmented reality technology to detect what page the child was on using the device's camera. Each enabled page would then have a set of unique animations, activities and minigames that fit in with the story. Finally, the app needed to work on both Android and iOS with the ability to easily port to other platforms in the future if required.

 

What We Delivered

Three Little Pigs is all about delighting children and parents with rich visuals and novel interactions on mobile devices. We selected Unity as our core technology to build on. By leveraging our own internal libraries we were able to deliver a beautiful experience on a modest budget. We made use of Qualcomm's Vuforia framework to do the heavy lifting for the AR tag detection and transformation.

Throughout development Karman solved a number of technical challenges. A new system was developed to dynamically load scenes as their AR code was detected. This kept the memory footprint of the app as low as possible while providing a responsive experience to readers. To unlock the section of the app targeted at the parents a novel two finger gesture was developed. The unique gesture keeps the parents section easy to access for adults while preventing children from accidentally navigating away from the books experience.

Working with Mercury we developed fun interactions for every page of the book. We won't spoil all of the surprises in the book but for example one page has the children play a unique counting game. Children direct a character to collect a specific number of apples by tapping them in the scene. All the while the scene is being projected onto their book in the real world.

In the end the book was very well received by parents and children alike with excitement surrounding more books and more experiences. Something tells us this isn't the last we've scene of AR driven interactive storybooks.