Repurposing the land beneath Miami-Dade County’s elevated Metrorail line and turning it into park space called The Underline is a pretty cool idea. Add a layer of augmented reality (AR) simulations – and it all becomes something brilliant. Imagine pointing your phone at a live butterfly in one of the park’s gardens and getting information on what kind of butterfly it is. Making this and other innovative ideas come to life at The Underline via AR are faculty and staff at Miami Dade College’s Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC).
“The concept is to enable users to browse life via their smartphones,” said MAGIC Chair Mauricio Ferrazza. “Users will be able to point their phones at a trigger and things will pop up.”
Construction for phase one of The Underline, the half-mile segment in Miami’s popular Brickell neighborhood from the Miami River to Southwest 13th Street, is scheduled to finish in June of 2020. This phase will include an outdoor gym with basketball court, a stage, a dining area, butterfly gardens, public art and more.
MAGIC has already created a 3D simulation of this section of the park. Once launched, users will be able to see what the finished park will look like by pointing their phones at a logo on the construction site fence. They can even tour the virtual, one-tenth-scale model, complete with shrubbery and people jogging.
“The user experience is the most important thing that we focus on,” said Alexis Centeno, MAGIC’s academic lab manager. “We have to balance how much to include with how to keep it functional. There is no lag time when viewing the simulation. That’s the goal.”