The Dutch startup Fectar has developed an app that teaches Ukrainian children to recognize mines. This first-ever interactive augmented reality (AR) hologram lesson was created to teach explosives. The lesson comes from the question that soldier Charles Valentine asked himself: ‘How can we help the Ukrainian people to de-mine their country if 30% of the munitions fired have not exploded, but are still there?’
Valentine, a soldier in ‘Explosive Ordnance Disposal – EOD’, wrote an article on social media about the war in Ukraine*. He appealed for help to identify and clear the ammunition in the country. “About 30% of the munitions fired do not explode, but are still in the country. At great risk to the population.” In his search for a solution, he came across Fectar, a Dutch Metaverse Creator Platform for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). He discovered the possibilities of this Dutch startup’s AR/VR app and built an interactive 3D mine recognition lesson. A life-saving learning tool for children in war zones.
Education in Ukraine
The goal is to reach at least 15,000 ambassadors with the virtual demining lesson. The Ukrainian organization ‘Terra Pyra’** will roll out the teaching of the lesson throughout Ukraine. They will introduce residents and their children to the operation of AR on their mobile phones in community centers and through online training. The free Fectar app is specially developed to offer a full Augmented Reality experience on older smartphones with a slow internet connection.
Learning like in the real world
It is the first AR lesson used to explain the dangers of unexploded ordnance. It shows 3D models of different types of ammunition. In the lesson, children learn, for example, what a mine looks like in real life and that picking up a mine is dangerous. This AR technology contributes to a better learning experience. Unlike VR, which puts users in a fully digital world, AR sees the real world around them overlaid with digital information and 3D models of situations. A hologram of a Ukrainian teacher continues to look at the user, so there is contact with the users and it makes education possible. During use, the app measures the learning process and the training can be adjusted.
AR provides a safe learning environment and better understanding
AR not only allows students to absorb their learning material better and faster, but it also allows them to learn more naturally and intuitively. Traditional education is more passive and uses abstract concepts and theories that are difficult to understand, but through AR children end up in ‘real’ situations that they can recognize or explore interactively. This accessible and safe way of learning leads to better results. For example, virtual excursions or simulations can provide a better understanding of the world, but also of scientific subjects, history, geography, practical, complex or creative ideas, and in the case of Ukraine: ammunition.
*Ukraine ArcGIS Story: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/eb04510258bb424ab0ffd79aa3934611
**Ukrainian organization: https://terrapura.ngo/
Fectar is a Metaverse Creator Platform for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. From Den Bosch, they work for six million users on the most downloaded AR/VR app in the world. This month they spoke at the VR Days and it was announced that they are hosting the first VR/AR app to help demining in Ukraine. The Fectar app works in Augmented Reality on phones from 2015 and 2016. The content can be viewed in a 3D viewer on older phones (2010 and newer).
More information: https://www.fectar.com/
This article is a submission and is not the responsibility of the editors.