Ekaterina Daviel, Monica Oliva and Ingrid Farnell play with the sandbox. Michael Grace-Dacosta photo

VIDEO: Smithers get its first augmented reality sandbox

Locals got to experience a bit of augmented reality last Wednesday

Last Wednesday, the Bulkley Valley Research Centre (BVRC) partnered with Eclipse Geomatics to host an interactive learning session about an augmented reality sandbox at the Old Church in honour of geographic information systems day.

The exhibit was built by Eclipse Geomatics who were inspired by a video from scientists at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) explaining how they created the sandbox.

“We thought it was a really interesting concept and thought we would give it a try,” said Johanna Pfalz, owner of Eclipse Geomatics.

The UC Davis scientists uploaded the software they used as an open source code and included diagrams on how to physically build the sandbox.

Despite the instructions left behind Pfalz said building the exhibit wasn’t easy. Learning Lynx, software that is essential to the exhibit, learning how use and navigate the open source program, as well as finding out the diagrams that were not as informative as they hoped where challenges to Pfalz’s team.

This is without even mentioning the cost of the software, which is around $5,000-8,000, according to Pfalz.

“Every sandbox is a little different because the technology,” said Pfalz. “There’s a little bit of fine tuning in getting all these pieces to talk together.”

Pfalz said she hopes to use the sandbox to teach kids about watershed education but as of now, it’s not realistic to bring the exhibit to schools as it takes too long to set up.

“I just think sometimes living up north we don’t always get exposed to as many opportunities,” said Pfalz. “Our kids in school can’t just go down to Science World and see the latest exhibit. This is kind of my way of giving something back.”

The BVRC is accepting donations towards the Sandbox program to fund further watershed educational activities utilizing the augmented reality sandbox.

For more information about the sandbox visit bvcentre.ca/get-involved/ar_sandbox.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Locals play with the sandbox Michael Grace-Dacosta photo

Just Posted

Witset in lockdown following three confirmed COVID-19 cases

Band office, health centre and KWES facilities closed until further notice

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

UPDATE: Search continues for Thomas (Tommy) Dennis missing from near Kitwanga

Tommy Dennis was last seen Sept 16 wearing blue jeans, black cap, rubber boots, grey checked sweater

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Most Read