The Human Brain

An interactive educational application built within a Facebook Lens

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Visit http://showmevirtual.com/brain to try the effect yourself and see the trailer.


What is The Human Brain Facebook Lens?

The Human Brain Augmented Reality Lens is a full brain education application built inside of a Facebook’s SparkAR Lens platform. If you aren’t familiar with Lenses, they are lightweight social media camera filters containing 3D content that’s anchored to your face or the world around you. The most well-known version of this being face effects that might add sunglasses or turn you into a dog like you may have seen before on Snapchat or Instagram. The Human Brain Augmented Reality Lens demonstrates how lightweight AR Lenses can be utilized to enhance print media and educational publications.

 
What can this Lens do?

The Human Brain Lens has a number of features to help facilitate an interactive learning experience.

BACK CAMERA:
• Explore multiple human brain 3D models with identification labels
• Tap any identification label to see its definition
• Rotate, auto-rotate, and scale each brain model
• Toggle visibility for individual parts of brain models
• Relax, and enjoy the soothing thinking-music

FRONT CAMERA:
• ARE YOU A BRAINIAC? Take a 3-question quiz to test your brain knowledge
• Randomized question bank with 16 questions across 3 categories; major regions, brain lobes, and detailed parts
• Timer; user must answer each question in under 10 seconds
• Quiz results; keeps track of your correct / incorrect answers
• Responsive answer buttons indicate your selection vs the correct answer to help you learn
• Fun and quirky music, sound effects, spinning brains, and more

 
What makes this unique?

What’s especially powerful about Lenses is that they deliver an augmented reality experience without the need for a separate app download. With these experiences being accessed through existing social media platforms, they can have a massive reach, and are also designed to work on nearly any smartphone or tablet.

The downside to this is that Lenses have to be extremely minimal and lightweight experiences, as they must load rapidly, even in areas with poor internet connection. Facebook only allows 2mb total of content per Lens, which is less than a single high-quality photo. The content in the Lens must also run fast enough to maintain a decent framerate across a variety of phone models; new and old. Because of these tight content restrictions, it can be challenging to build Lenses that go much deeper than basic face filters or lightweight 3D animations.

While ShowMeVirtual is no stranger to moonshot Lenses, the technical challenges involved in creating this one were immense. A huge portion of creating this experience was the many optimization passes on the artwork, models, and audio files, in attempts to free up every possible kb of available data space. Another huge challenge was building the quiz system, which was tricky to get setup and fully randomized, but even more of significant undertaking to enable the system to be reset without having to restart the Lens. Lastly, making the user interface both intuitive and highly accessible proved to be another significant challenge, as the UI had to be functional across such a wide range of devices. Because of these hurdles and more, we can see why few Lens-based applications have been made.

Through the development of this application within the constraints of SparkAR, The Human Brain Lens becomes a first-of-its-kind educational tool, enabling learning through technology for students of all ages. By utilizing Facebook’s dedicated AR platform, this Lens also becomes one of the most accessible interactive brain education applications to exist. We look forward to helping evolve the narrative (and practical-use cases) around Lenses and other lightweight augmented reality, while bringing new educational experiences to wider audiences than ever before.

 
Who can I contact to learn more?

We would love to hear from you! Please reach out to us at info@ShowMeVirtual.com

Developer

Screenshots

How to use it?

BACK CAMERA:
• Explore multiple human brain 3D models with identification labels
• Tap any identification label to see its definition
• Rotate, auto-rotate, and scale each brain model
• Toggle visibility for individual parts of brain models
• Relax, and enjoy the soothing thinking-music

FRONT CAMERA:
• ARE YOU A BRAINIAC? Take a 3-question quiz to test your brain knowledge
• Randomized question bank with 16 questions across 3 categories; major regions, brain lobes, and detailed parts
• Timer; user must answer each question in under 10 seconds
• Quiz results; keeps track of your correct / incorrect answers
• Responsive answer buttons indicate your selection vs the correct answer to help you learn
• Fun and quirky music, sound effects, spinning brains, and more

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