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Govt launches Sakaar app for augmented reality; watch the Mars Orbiter Mission in 3D

The Government of India has launched an augmented reality (AR) app for Android 4.0.3 and above called Sakaar to mark the one year achievement of the Department of Space, reports IndianTelevision. The app will give a direct live view (with an info overlay) of real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated 3D models, animations and videos.

Through Sakaar, users will be able to see 3D models of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), its  orbit insertion and launch along with 360 degree animations of MOM, Radar Imaging Satellite RISAT, PSLV, GSLV, Mark III rockets, INSAT 3D cyclone prediction videos, GSLV D5 cryogenic system and the anaglyph Mars surface. The AR app will take the live camera feed from the smartphone to represent the physical world and then superimpose virtual objects.

The Sakaar APK is available here, and with it, you will need trigger cards, which trigger virtual objects onto the camera’s live feed (available in the same link). The trigger cards are also available in the Extra options menu from where you can view and print them. Once printed, you need to cut along the dotted lines and show them to phone’s camera while in the app. The cards can also be viewed through a soft copy on another screen.

ISRO states that the app does not come pre-loaded with videos and users can download them in the app in the background, however, since the app is heavy on graphics, it may take time to load on start up. This app has been developed with Qualcomm Vuforia, with multimedia and editing support from Development and Educational Communication Unit: DECU -ISRO. DECU deals with research, planning, implementation and evaluation of satellite based applications under tele-education, tele-medicine, Gramsat and satellite communication apps.

At the launch, A S Kiran Kumar, secretary of Department of Space and Chairman at the Space Commission and ISRO, stated that ‘societal applications for space technology’ such as hydrological and geomorphological monitoring has been of help in the Clean Ganga mission. Space tech was also used in rapid flood mapping and monitoring in Jammu and Kashmir, satellite based VPN nodes for communication were also used. Kumar mentioned that PSLV-C28, GSLV-D6 and ASTROSAT missions would take place in July, August and September respectively this year, while IRNSS-1F and IRNSS-1G were planned for the start of next year.

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