CEA - FROM RESEARCH TO INDUSTRY
Augmented Reality Application
The “Twizzy”, Renault’s small electric car, is on display in the showroom of CEA Tech, CEA’s technological research department. CEA Tech’s mission is to produce and disseminate technologies for the benefit of industry, providing a “bridge” between the scientific and economic worlds.
In order to highlight the Twizzy’s technologies, CEA Tech commissioned Sonovision Group and IHMTEK, in early 2019, to create an augmented reality application showing each of its features.
Objective of the project
The objective of this project is to create an augmented reality application that allows the user to visualise the various functions of Twizzy. Using a tablet, the user points the tablet’s camera at the car and points of interest appear depending on the part of the car being viewed. If the user clicks on one of these points, videos or other information appears. In addition, when pointing at the car, the 3D model of the Twizzy appears transparently on the real model, giving a very high-tech visual effect.
Sonovision Group designed the application’s graphic interface and IHMTEK developed the augmented reality application.
Technical challenges :
There were several technical challenges.
- The virtual reality system used is a combination of Unity 3D and the vuforia plugin. This system uses markers on the Twizzy (in the license plate) to trigger the appearance of 3D objects (points of interest) on the tablet’s video stream (augmented reality). The challenge was to leave the points of interest visible even if the user no longer pointed at the markers (in general, hotspots only appear when the tablet can see the marker, otherwise nothing appears). To do this, we had to make some changes in the Vuforia code to make this feature stable, i.e. to ensure that the points of interest remained visible and that they were also immovable, regardless of the user’s movements around the Twizzy.
- Another problem that we had to solve in this augmented reality application was the ‘exact fit’ of the ‘semi-transparent’ model of the Twizzy to the real model. To solve this problem, we created a ‘developer’ feature in the tablet that allows the size and position of the 3D model to be changed in real time to precisely match the real car. Once the actual size was obtained, the position and orientation values were recorded for inclusion in the final application deliverable.
More information of the project :