Were you playing Pokemon Go last summer? Do you still remember how it works? It makes use of augmented reality (AR) to place Pokemon on your phone screen depending on the environment the camera detects. Now, 14 students from Lok Sin Tong Yu Kan Hing Secondary School have applied the same technology to create lively T-shirts – named ARTshirt.
The team took part in the Young Innovators Bazaar 2017 at Hollywood Plaza in Diamond Hill in February, and they named their booth “Mat Hing Ching Chong”, meaning their products are small but fun.
Young Post caught up with the team to find out more about the T-shirt and all the hard work that went into it.
“We were inspired by Pokemon Go, which went viral last year, so we decided to apply AR technology to our products,” says Mayone Hau Pui-man, who was in charge of the booth. “Soon we decided to make T-shirts.”
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The three patterns of ARTshirts sold by the booth were all designed by the students. They are themed around family relationships, romantic relationships and love for Hong Kong.
“We started by drawing the pattern on paper, which was flat. This is also what appears on the ARTshirt itself,” says Katrina Ng Yuen-man, promotion and creativity director. “But where AR technology comes in is with the 3D graphic. After we decided the patterns on paper, we had to turn them into 3D designs on the computer.”
With help from some teachers, the team got their app for the ARTshirt, which supports camera functions like Pokemon Go.
“The IT team put the 3D graphic in the app so you get to see the pattern moving on your screen when you put the ARTshirt in front of the camera,” says Katrina. “When you tap on the screen, the pattern changes accordingly.”
“For example, we have one design related to love for Hong Kong,” says Mayone. “On the ARTshirt, it shows the city’s landmarks. But through the screen, you are able to travel down a street while seeing a lot of symbolic items, such as the ice cream vans we can see all over Hong Kong. Tap on the screen, and the ice cream van can be changed into a minibus.”
Besides the design on the screen and the T-shirt, the experience includes music.
“Users can add their own words on the screen and they can save the photo or video, or even send them to their family or friends,” says Katrina.
Design and technology were just the first steps. Getting the ideas to work with real products was another issue.
“We started the planning last October, and we knew that factories in mainland China would be on holiday starting from a few days before Chinese New Year,” says Mayone. “We had to rush to finish all the designs to fit the factory’s schedule.”
“Although we have been very busy with our studies and other activities, we squeezed time in to meet and draw up our plans,” she adds. “The workload was heavy, but we never got into quarrels as we just wanted to finish the job well.”
“This was very challenging,” says Mayone. “But I hope my teammates enjoyed the process and the time we spent together.”