As anyone who has ever done any form of IT support can tell you, it is much harder when you can’t see what the customer – or family member – is seeing. Trying to rely on a description of a problem from someone who isn’t technically minded can make things difficult. The Project Chalk app might be an answer to that problem for frustrated IT support personnel and their customers.
Augmented reality (AR) app developer PTC Vuforia recently demonstrated an app named Project Chalk that works with the Vuforia technology to allow for enhanced video calling. In addition to simply seeing another person and their surroundings, the Project Chalk app makes it possible to draw on a phone or tablet screen using finger or stylus to direct someone on what button to press, or which port a cable needs to be plugged in to.
For the person trying to offer assistance, they will be able to see what the client (or family member) is pointing the phone camera at, and then make notes and drawings over the top of an image. Somewhat like sports commentators do to demonstrate various plays during games on TV.
The AR notes and drawings remain ‘tethered’ to where thy are. If you draw a line pointing to a network point, it will remain pointing at the network port, even if the phone is moved to point somewhere else.
“We allow two people to have interactions they couldn’t normally have if they weren’t in the same physical space,” Jay Wright, president of PTC’s Vuforia, said in an interview with CNET, “We think it can be used by everyone on the planet, from childhood to elderhood.” Wright said just prior to the software unveiling at Augmented World Expo.
The Project Chalk app is still in relatively early stages of development, but VRFocus will report and any further developments regarding Project Chalk and other AR innovations.