This Augmented Reality Sand Box Is More Fun Than Anything You Had as a Kid

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Technology is transforming the way kids play and learn. But this new sand box is a complete revelation: using Kinect to gather depth information it teaches kids about topography and can even simulate water without making a mess.

Put together at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center, which is part of UC Davis, this pit uses a Kinect and a projector to overlay interactive topographical maps and real-time water simulations depending on the height of the sand.

Kids can use their hands or shovels to play in the sand, and then a colour-coded map of the varying height appears. Open your hand out over the sand, and simulated rain pours down, before gently flowing depending on the surface geography and settling in the lowest-lying areas.

The sand box is expected to turn up at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, Vermont, which was one of the collaborators on the project. [UC Davis via Reddit via The Verge]