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I2P Creates Augmented Reality Rain Gauge

Noah Newman, Colorado State University alum and Education Coordinator for the Atmospheric Science Department for the Colorado Climate Center, came to the Idea2Product Lab for help on their Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) project. The project is citizen-science organization and was created in Fort Collins in 1998 with a few dozen volunteers who put rain gauges in their back yards and reported their data to our website. The organization is now in all 50 states and Canada and have over 20,000 volunteers who report their daily precipitation. “The data is used by the National Weather Service and countless other organizations and entities from building engineers to farmers to researchers all over the world,” Neman explained. “The White House even has a gauge and reports to our website.”  

Rain Gauge in Aurasma app

Newman needed I2P to help create a rain gauge to be used in the augmented reality app called, Aurasma. Augmented reality (AR) is the viewing of a physical physical image or sound generated by a computer and viewed in real-world environments. Aurasma is the industry-leading augmented reality app that’s changing the way millions of people see and interact with the world. Aurasma helps people use augmented reality to turn everyday objects, images, and places into new, interactive opportunities to engage with their fans and customers through striking graphics, animation, video, audio, and 3D content.

“I originally saw augmented reality in much the same way I am attempting to use it in our case,” said Newman. “It was at a NASA booth at a conference I was attending that had a really neat App that was showing schematics of the space shuttle and different rockets – all through the use of AR.” Newman searched for a way to do augmented reality to help with CoCoRaHS. Newman, hopeful in creating this new resource, had little experience with 3D imaging and that’s when he learned about I2P. I2P staff member, Nik Radaev, designed the image of the rain gauge to go into the augmented reality app.

Newman is working to make the organization’s brochure ‘interactive’ and have the photos in the brochure send users to their website. You can download the Aurasma App and then ‘favorite’ CoCoRaHS and it should work if you point it at some of the photos on the brochure but it is still a work in progress.