Posted on September 5, 2018 by staff

AR app for restaurants keeps children engaged


A Yorkshire tech firm has developed a “cutting-edge” augmented reality app which converts children’s drawings into interactive 3D characters.

Peel Interactive will launch the app this month at Alexander’s, a North Yorkshire bar and restaurant in Skipton.

Accessed through the restaurant’s in-house iPads, the app will allow children aged three and above to colour in two fantasy characters and then ‘bring their drawings to life’.

The app was made possible by creating 3D assets in Maya, and texturing them using Substance Suite tools. The characters are brought to life using Unity and C# programming.

“We wanted to create an app that engages a younger audience in a fun way, using a medium they will already understand and have experience of – a colouring book – with the unique twist of bringing their creation to life,” said app developer Matt Murphy.

“Peel Interactive is well known for its AR digital experiences, but this is the first time we’ve taken user input and used it in our augmented world. Sanitising user input can be difficult, and even more so when the input is a child’s coloured-in sheet of paper!”

Peel Interactive has previously created an animated ‘horrible histories’ style AR installation at the Parliamentary Education Centre, which brings King Charles I and Queen Victoria back to life and adds digital interpretation to the visitor learning experience.

Jessica Wright, head of development at Peel Interactive, added: “Peel Interactive is committed to producing inspiring digital experiences that engage people in ways that have previously not been possible.

“We are delighted with the colouring app. It’s great proof that the concept works and can be rolled out to any venue as a way of engaging and entertaining children and attracting an increased number of families.”