Ben Collins Media
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One Cool Thing

For Michigan Engineering

iOS Application with daily content

The One Cool Thing application was an ambitious project. The promise is that the user will be delivered one "Cool Thing" per day, an interesting piece of engineering or technology news. The app features high-quality images and engaging text, with links to read more.

In addition to this relatively straightforward news-style application, there are some pretty crazy additional features. Our office puts out a print magazine twice a year, which we wanted to integrate with the app. As such, we introduced the Decoder feature into One Cool Thing.

The Decoder pulls up a camera view. From there, the app uses computer vision (Qualcom's "Vuforia") to detect pages of the print magazine and deliver bonus content. Hold the camera up to a certain page and you might get a video explaining more about the article. Hold it up to our "letters to the editor" page and you'll get a pre-populated email message. Hold it up to a One Cool Thing logo and you'll get a 3D easter-egg:

Built some augmented reality into my app. #onecoolthing

A video posted by Ben Collins (@bencollins2) on

Get the app here.