All it took was an email from a member of the Information Technology Team who had seen online a clever way to re-use the Kinetic Camera from her old X-Box, and an innovative project was started.

During Term Break, the Information Technology Team at Mount St Benedict College undertook to build an Augmented Reality (AR) sand pit. Starting with an old PC, projector and kinetic camera from an old Xbox, the team carefully followed the instructions published online by the University of California to build our very own.

The sand pit is available for student use in the Information Resource Centre (IRC). By moulding the sand to create the desired landscape, the kinetic camera then measures the height and depth of the sand to project a topographical map onto the landscape created. Students can then create rainfall by hovering their fingers above the desired location.

The system teaches geographic, geologic, and hydrologic concepts such as how to read a topography map, the meaning of contour lines, watersheds, catchment areas, levees, etc.