I have added a monocular branch to the mARsquerade project in github. It allows the app to be used without Google Cardboard i.e. like a camera app. There is take picture button which saves images to /sdcard/Pictures/mARsquerade but it doesn’t save the masks on top of the photos yet and there is no gallery built into the app. I’ve got these features on my to do list. When the app first starts it asks if you want to use Cardboard or not. The monocular mode can only be used in landscape for now.
l spent some time on an interesting side project towards the end of last year. The theme for the work Christmas party was a masquerade ball. Instead of creating an ordinary mask I thought I’d do something more Android. Using the following items I created something called mARsquerade:
- Google cardboard with a hole cut in it
- Bluetooth selfie stick
- A borrowed Samsung Galaxy Note 4
- An android application that uses the cardboard SDK and camera
- A Weetabix box
- Gold spray paint
Simply put it’s a face detecting augmented reality rig that can take photos:
The face detecting part uses smile detection to put a sad mask over a frowning face and a happy mask over a smiling one. Like this:
The results can be disturbing! I questioned my own sanity a couple of times during development! I ran out if time to really finish off the hardware part so it looks a bit tatty. Originally I tried two Note 4s for a crazy stereoscopic setup but it was just too heavy and so would have required some sort of reinforced neck brace for support. The extendable selfie stick was really handy for taking photos from a high vantage point. The stick uses Bluetooth but luckily it just sends an enter keystroke to the phone rather any kind of proprietary Bluetooth command or something. I used the cardboard trigger to toggle on the flash as a torch. Useful for finding your way home after a hard nights mARsquerading. I put the code in github if anyone wants to take a look. It’s not in the Play Store because its pretty niche and requires a cut up Google Cardboard. Obviously it works best on a Note 4. The 1440p screen and decent camera make it work well. Running it on a device that doesn’t support a good square preview size (like the Nexus 5X) means a distorted camera view. WARNING: after a while the device seems to get a bit hot! Previewing the camera, distorting it for cardboard and detecting faces is probably a fair amount of work!