Eat Well Squad – Nutrition Facts Label Education for Kids with Comic and AR

The Concept

Eat Well Squad motivates preteens to enhance their literacy of nutrition fact labels using both printed comics and augmented reality.

 

Project Overview

Eat Well Squad is my capstone project of personal-professional interest in the healthy eating issue among preteens. The advisor was Dr. Maaike Bouwmeester. According to the thesis guide, the thesis project should demonstrate proficiency and skill in theory and practice, imagination and creativity, and understanding of current and emerging trends in the field of educational communication and technology and the design of media for learning.

A Learning Design draws heavily on both Instructional Design, Design Thinking and Human Centered Design processes to produce a learning experience that effective, enjoyable and engaging. In 2018 ECT Design EXPO, graduating students in the Digital Media Design (DMDL) for Learning and Games for Learning (G4L) programs present a wide variety of creative thesis projects at MAGNET (Media an

d Games Network).

A Longer Version of the Concept

Eat Well Squad is a combination of printed comics and augmented reality to improve preteens’ ability to read nutrition facts labels by reading comics, watching animation and practicing the knowledge in real life settings.
The comic is telling a story about a boy named Jermaine tries to investigate how he eats every day. With the help of his digestive organs such as the pancreas, teeth and his smartphone, Jermaine The app with augmented reality content providing data visualization and concept explanations about nutrients. It will help the user to practice pouring cereal with the assistance of AR measurement.
The content of the Eat Well Squad aligns with activities from FDA’s curriculum for middle-level classrooms: Science And Our Food Supply: Using The Nutrition Facts Label to Make Healthy Food Choices. The topics will cover but not limit to serving size and calories, sugar in beverages, sodium in snacks, facts about fats, and meal planning, etc.

How it Works

Comics

This comic is telling a story about a boy named Jermaine tries to investigate how he eats every day. With the help of his digestive organs such as the pancreas, teeth and his phone, Jermaine will discover the truth about foods and make a change in his diet.

This comic sample is also the final project for Tracy White‘s Comics Class at ITP NYU. Script and draft by Sang Nong (me). Pencil lining by Lei Liao.

AR MockUp

Animation on Page 3

In page 3, interactive AR animation would be introduced for visualizing a right portion, say one measuring cup of cereal. There is also visualization of Jermaine’s cereal bowl, which he overpoured to his heart’s content in the previous storyline. And finally comparing of nutrients and highlight the excessive amount of sugar in Jermaine’s cereal potion.

The sequence of Augmented Reality Animation

Portion Size Simulation with a Marked Cereal Bowl

Nowadays AR software development kit such as Apple’s ARkit or Vuforia have enabled smartphone cameras to measure physical objects in length precisely. This feature could be developed into volume measurement by providing a container with a fixed bottom. Unlike traditional portion counting with the other scale or a measuring cup, the user can measure serving size in one bowl with the phone.

Cereal Pouring Simulation

First, the user needs to input their information on age, gender, weight, height, and physical activity intensity. Based on the data and your goal, the app will provide the daily calorie intake suggestion. Second, user scan the barcode on a cereal box, the app will suggest serving size based on user’s information. When the user points the camera at the bowl, a line will show up to indicate the correct size of cereal in the bowl. Finally, the And the AR measurement will track and rate the result of users’ cereal-pouring performance.

Concept Testing

The concept feedback mainly gathers from AR engineers about the feasibility of AR measurement. Although nowadays AR kit enables phone camera to track the length and depth, it is still challenging for volume measuring, because of two reasons: 1. In a real-life setting, the shapes of cereal bowl would be varied. Hence the area of bottoms are different and needed to be trained as a data set. 2. AR tracking could be significantly affected by the lighting and reflection from the bowl, say a transparent texture would make monitoring difficult and inaccurate. Therefore the volume measurement could be achieved, but only in a stringent condition.

EXPO Booth

Here is the poster and pyramid hologram I designed to attract the traffic to my booth on the EXPO day!

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