It seems augmented reality can seep into any area. After games and books, this technology has entered into trash bins! Yes, you read that right! A simple task like rubbish disposal turns interactive with augmented reality. TetraBIN has been designed to generate awareness about the environment among people of all ages. It has been designed by Sam Johnson & Steven Bai, both alumni of the Design Lab at the University of Sydney.
Augmented Trash Bin
Both Johnson and Bai, have augmented a trash bin to inspire people, especially the younger generation to become aware of issues like littering which could affect the environment adversely. TetraBIN uses a gamified approach, which uses game thinking and game mechanics and turns rubbish disposal into a fun event.
The aim is to encourage people to actively participate in the rubbish disposal so that the problem of littering can be solved. An activity is turned into a game, where a rubbish item is mapped to an interaction in a game world, which is shown on a screen around the bin and is controlled by a computer. The act of dumping rubbish which is otherwise seen as an insignificant one, turns into an important one as the participant has to drop it into the bin at the perfect moment if he/she wants to move ahead in the game. Through this augmented experience, the participant will be able to understand the issues facing the environment, especially the collection and management of waste.
Some of the specifications of the TetraBIN include:
- Integrated speaker for sound effects
- Bright full-color LEDs
- Sensors at the top of the bin
- 8-bit style interaction
- Designed for outdoor installation for a long term
- Custom-designed curved polycarbonate diffuser and LED panel
- Waterproof, IR beam sensors
- Accessible remotely via web
- Usable and can be emptied like a normal bin
How Does it Work?
Computer generated content is shown on the LEDs in such a way, they look like a single continuous cylindrical screen. Infrared beam sensors are installed underneath the bin’s top which can detect if rubbish is thrown into the bin. If the beam breaks, the sensors send a message to the computer which then activates an event.
This event then causes a block to fall from the LED screen’s top to its bottom, in the process mapping the physical interaction of the rubbish being placed in the bin to different actions in the augmented game, displayed on the screen. The integrated speaker provides the sound effects when a user interacts with the bin, increasing the interactivity.
The project is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. The total funding goal is $5,000. The funding will end on 3rd March, 2015. So, if you want to receive relevant rewards, you can head on to the page and pledge your funds.
Are you going to back the campaign? Do you think this is a noble idea? Share your thoughts in the comments below.