This work is part of the CatchmentCARE Project in Northern Ireland. The CatchmentCARE Project has been funded through the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programme's Body. Match-funding has been provided by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Northern Ireland and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in Ireland.
As part of the communications package, our clients (UKRI/ SEUPB/BGS/GSNI/GSI) wanted an XR approach to engage and excite the community with something different. The app needed to compliment the wider communications package including website and usual formats that were being considered.
The app had to be focused on three river catchment areas - Blackwater, Finn and Arney catchment areas - It needed to 'Engage, Educate and Excite' the community about their rivers and importance of the groundwater that flows through them.
The platforms for the XR app were agreed as Meta Quest 2 headsets for the VR version and iPad format for the AR version. The intuitive UI includes a choice of three modes of operation via the Meta Quest 2 headset:
Allows individuals to explore the content.
Allows single person to present the content in a particular/logical order via a compatible screen device.
Allows a single person to demonstrate the content simultaneously to a class of students and guide them through interactive and none interactive sections.
The iPad AR format runs in Solo Mode only via a clear and intuitive menu.
The content has been designed and developed with a target demographic of 9 years+ and is based around a modular approach to a full overview of the Earth's hydrological process, groundwater systems and how groundwater flows under and through the three catchments.
Real-time animation and interactive moments throughout the app, bring to life the informative pre-defined sequences which cover:
Groundwater flow pathways:
The interaction between groundwater and surface water:
How groundwater can be abstracted from boreholes or springs for drinking water, agricultural use or industrial use, and;
The ways in which contaminants can enter the subsurface, and the underground pathways that contaminants can take. These include:
The sources of pollution that might occur in the catchments, and the impact on groundwater, boreholes, springs and linked surface waters:
The XR application has been extremely well received and is being used throughout community and school venues as well as popular visitor centres such as Marble Arch Caves.
Screens from iPad version
Screens from MetaQuest 2 version
VR + AR Work