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Swansea student brings bilingual children’s book to life with augmented reality

A student from UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art has created a bilingual children’s book that uses augmented reality that brings the story to life.

The idea came to Dylan Morris as he was working on his Major Project, a vital component of his BA Digital Arts programme. The story is children’s picture book about a young boy called Ray who befriends a robot. Dylan’s book is bilingual and utilises the latest developments in Augmented Reality interfaces. Many of the illustrations – which were all developed and drawn by Dylan – are in fact ‘glyphs’, markers that trigger a response when scanned.

The idea is that a parent will sit and read with their child, scan these glyphs with their phone or tablet and watch the character come to life and move across the page. Full instructions and clear indications are included, making the book accessible and easy to use. The book is in printable form and has its own ISBN code and publisher. It is understood that it is the first of its kind to combine Welsh/English text aimed at 4-8 year olds with AR technology.

Dylan said:

“When I first came up with the idea, I didn’t think it would be a world first but as the project progressed during the production phase, I realised that story telling had a new dimension. Gone are the days when parents just read to their children – now they can bring the images and their imagination to life. Story time has just met its future partner. This has the potential to extend beyond the demographic of children. Maybe a contemporary way for adults to learn a new language.”

Senior Lecturer John Hill said:

“Dylan has taken all the opportunities that UWTSD have offered him and developed a final project that he and the University can be proud of. As his tutor, I am thrilled to have witnessed his development over the last three years – both as a digital artist, as a person and as a significant future contributor to the knowledge economy of Wales. Da iawn Dylan.”

Dylan intends to carry on his studies at MA level and will be coding his own AR server and developing more books in the Ray & Mo series.

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