Augmented Reality Smartphone Applications as a Tool to Raise Awareness of Circular Economy

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Environmental problems are increasingly jeopardizing the earth's life-support systems. By shifting from a take-make-dispose industrial model to a circular one, resources will last longer, and the environmental impact will be significantly lower. People’s choices, behaviours and lifestyles will play a vital role in achieving sustainable development. A way to influence this is to use an educational tool that is accessible, interesting and fun. By superimposing computer generated objects to the real world, Augmented Reality (AR) adds a layer of interactivity and engagement. As there are 3 billion active smartphone users worldwide, an AR smartphone application is also very accessible. This thesis investigates how marker-based AR can be used as a means to educate a user in circular economy. This was done by using research through design and applied research to create a design for a prototype which worked as a proof of concept. The prototype was evaluated through a heuristic evaluation. Data was gathered through a form and semi-structured interviews. The data was analysed using the framework method and box plots. The prototype used marker-based AR and was built using the game engine Unity with the Vuforia SDK. The results indicated that an AR application could be a good tool to use in combination with other sources of information such as seminars.

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