This Meta Quest (2) AR App Transforms Your Room into a Planetarium
The mixed reality features in the Meta Quest (2) allows for some innovative app ideas. The latest experiment is an astonishing AR planetarium in your room.
The mixed reality app is known as Stargazer and has been developed by XR developer Emanuel Tomozei for Meta’s XR Hackathon that ended last week.
As part of the hackathon, developers are to sound out possibilities for new interfaces. The Meta Quest (2) includes the following interfaces: Insight SDK (advanced mixed reality features), the Voice SDK (voice control in apps), and the Interaction SDK (better hand interactions). Tomozei’s Stargazer app uses the first two interfaces.
Transform Your Room into a Planetarium
A video shows what the mixed reality app is capable of. The developer sits in his room and raises his hand which activates speech recognition. Tomozei then orders: open the roof! The ceiling retracts to reveal a digital starry night. Tomozei does the same sequence with his window to reveal a starry night. As the developer walks towards the entrance of the room, he sees a galaxy in front of him, just as if his room was floating in the middle of space. The developer can even lean out and get a better look at the digital star constellations.
A digital display that hangs on the wall shows the date, time as well as astronomical information. Tomozei can even play relaxing music with the AR app simply by sending a voice command.
Relaxing and Learning in Mixed Reality
The Stargazer app is used for relaxation and educational purposes. Tomozei created the spherical star map with the help of a database of 7,000 stars, the position, and size of which have been accurately rendered in the AR app. If you look up at the sky in your Meta Quest, you will see the well-known star constellations and their names.
At the moment, the app isn’t taking into account the real position and the time of day of the users. Tomozei hopes he will be able to incorporate this feature later on. He is also planning to add voice control for asking questions about the star constellations in order to find out more about the stars.
Stargazer will be a perfect app for Project Cambria
There is one catch with the Stargazer mixed reality app: your own four walls must be manually marked in advance so that the Meta Quest (2) headset ‘knows’ where the windows and the ceiling are positioned. The haunted app Hauntify also faces the same limitations as the Meta Quest (2) platform.
As AR/MR/VR hardware evolves, it is to be expected that the Meta Quest (2) will one day be able to recognize the wall geometry by itself, or that at least the setup will be easier.
With Meta’s upcoming mixed reality glasses Project Cambria, it would be possible to realize even more convincing AR superimpositions as the device has built-in high-resolution RGB cameras.
Tomozei might win up to $55,000 for his hackathon entry. On Reddit, the developer said that he wants to invest the prize money in the development of the Stargazer app and also in a higher-quality version of the app for Project Cambria. The winners of the XR Hackathon are set to be announced on December 7th.
For more on Tomozei’s projects, check out his website here.