App Turns Colouring Books into 3D Art

A kiwi invention is taking the beloved pastime of colouring-in to a whole new, high-tech level, allowing kids’ colouring creations to come to life.

New Zealand company Puteko’s colAR Mix app allows users to print, colour in and see the image they’ve created come alive in a 3D animated world.

The app works through augmented reality (AR) technology, which allows users to see 3D computer graphics hovering over 2D coloured images on a smartphone or iPad.

The technology is based on research carried out by Adrian Clark, Puteko’s head of research and development, who is doing his PhD at the University of Canterbury.

Puteko was formed in 2012 and released the colAR Mix app last year to much fanfare, with one reviewer calling it “the colouring book of the future” and a “pretty much perfect” example of AR.

The app has since had more than 475,000 downloads.

Puteko’s new chief executive, Edwin Darlow says there are an increasing number of AR apps around but the colAR Mix app has a key point of difference.

“Usually in AR what pops up for you is what pops up for me, and the user has no ability to modify or interact with that,” Darlow said.

“However, Adrian’s research focused on finding a way to make the marker, as it’s called in AR, able to be modified. So with this app people are actually able to colour-in the images – or modify them – and those changes can then be incorporated into the AR environment that pops up.”

The tech firm has caught the eye of angel investment and advisory firm Sparkbox Ventures, who invested $220,000 in Puteko last September.

Original story published 1 July, Sunshine Coast Daily

Tags: Adrian Clark  AR Technology  colAR Mix app  iPAD  iPhone  Puteko  Puteko colAR Mix app  Sparkbox Ventures  Startup Company  Sunshine Coast Daily  University of Canterbury  

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