Eutopia Project

Project Overview

Eutopia is a project that aims to create a digital environment that human can perceive in their daily activities. Unlike virtual reality that isolates human’s perception into the virtual world, with augmented reality (AR) human can still doing daily activities in the real world while enjoying the AR enhanced the environment. An ideal example of the successful product is depicted the PlayStation 3 video game, Heavy Rain. A fictional character of the title, Norman Jayden can work in his old small office while perceiving that he is working in a forest.


Illustration of Norman Jayden in his AR enhanced environment


Technical Information

Currently, this has only covered the AR content creation so far. The AR content is made using Vuforia SDK on Unity Daydream preview 5.4.2f2

Vuforia is a marker-based SDK. The main idea to create the digital environment is by making a mark to detect 5 sides of a room, namely: front, back, down, right, and left. Those direction names do not necessarily show where the user is facing. Because in practice, the user may not always focus on the markers, Extended tracking feature is used to create a stable experience. It is a feature in Vuforia SDK where the computer will remember where the markers are and keep projecting the imagery even without the markers on focus.

The user is expected to use the AR content by being in the room and wearing a head-mounted device as the AR machine. The AR machine is simulated by using an Android phone inside a Virtual Reality box. Therefore, the AR content is ported into an Android phone using Google Cardboard API.



At first, this project was initiated for an Entrepreneur course project under the same name. The project is about establishing a restaurant where people may enjoy dinning in custom environments with AR technology. The entrepreneur project has been officially discontinued and so does the development of the AR technology. However, modification and improvement of this project are encouraged.  This is an open sourced project that can be found in this git project:


Problems, Evaluations, and Future Development

To fully manipulate human’s perception of the environment, some vision-related factors need to be considered, for example, the colour and shadows of the objects in accordance with the lightning and distance; interactivity of the human and the objects. Those are still very limited in this project because the AR content is made with minimum recognition of the environment.

The extended tracking feature is not yet perfect. Some objects appear shaky and the AR content keeps resetting all the objects over a certain time. This may be fixed by customising the Unity scripts.

Sometimes the AR machine is unable to detect some image targets, especially when the target is not exposed by light directly or not close enough to the machine. Probably it is better to redesign the image target or even the whole room marking system.

Creating human interactivity with the AR produced objects may be achieved using external motion detector devices such as Leap Motion or motion detecting camera – like the ones used in some modern gaming console. Another alternative may be by porting the AR content into some head-mounted devices bundled with motion sensors such as Microsoft HoloLens or Oculus Rift.

Augmented Reality Content: What is and How to?

Mediated reality is the term to describe the ability to add or subtract information in order to manipulate human’s perception of the world. Virtual Reality (VR) is one subcategory in mediated reality which is now getting popular in entertainment related contents like video games and movies. There exists a sibling of VR, another subcategory of mediated reality. Unlike VR that ‘brings’ human into the virtual world, this sibling ‘brings’ objects of the virtual world to human’s side. Meet the Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality (AR) enables human to see real objects with some computer generated information overlaying on it. While VR is growing in the entertainment sector, AR is more popular in professional or industrial-related technology, such as the Head-Up Display (HUD) for pilots, building visualization for architects, anatomy visualization for medical students or surgeons, product visualization for commercial purpose, or sports scoreboard display on the television.
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The idea of AR is to blend computer generated imagery in human perspective of the world. The popular approach in delivering the idea is by making people view some objects through a computer screen that generates some additional images. Some Augmented reality contents also add sound or smell to enhance the virtual objects perception.
Producing an AR content involves many complex mathematical calculations, computer vision concepts, and computer graphic projections. Fortunately, some Augmented Reality SDKs (Software Development Kit) are available to enable straightforward development. An example of the leading ones is Vuforia. By using Vuforia integration with Unity, an AR content can be made swiftly under 30 minutes even for those with minimum computer science or engineering background.
Vuforia is using marker-based approach. This approach captures image from a camera and detects any specific mark. It may be an image, object, or the Vuforia’s copyrighted VUMark. The location or type of the mark will determine how the information is generated on the screen. The process of detecting marks and projecting imagery are done by the SDK. Developers only need to control which mark to use, what information to display, and how the information reacts.
Despite being easy to use, Vuforia possesses some advanced AR features such as extended tracking, Smart Terrain, simultaneous tracking, object recognition, and advanced camera API. The AR contents can be ported into personal computers and hand-held devices in popular systems: Android, Universal Windows Platform (UWP), and iOS system. It can also be in some head-mounted devices: Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens, and Google Cardboard. The implementation of the SDK is integrated with some popular development tools such as Unity, Android Studio, XCode, and Adobe Illustrator (for VUMark creation). In addition to an official website that provides adequate guides and documentations for every feature, Vuforia is suitable for many developers in various backgrounds and needs.
AR technology contents is growing and we can expect to see faster growth because many industries start requesting for it and convenient SDKs are emerging. Vuforia is one example of the popular SDKs. It is excellent for both newbie trying their first AR content and experienced developers working on serious AR projects. So, start developing an AR content and feel sci-fi-like technologies!
To start developing, simply go to the Vuforia website and create an account. Choose which you need: for Unity, Android, UWP, etc. For beginner, it is highly recommended to use the Unity SDK since developing AR in Unity can be done by some simple drag-and-drops. Of course downloading Unity is a must too. Numerous documentations, guides, FAQs, and forum discussions are available for learning. Development is free; however, to enable commercial and enterprise supports, there are some paid plans to be processed.