PTC Intros AR Writing & Sketching App 'Project Chalk'

Augmented Reality company PTC has announced an app called Project Chalk, designed to help users highlight things using ink-like virtual marks on objects. The technology company has continuously been putting efforts to make video conferencing more innovative, and its latest announcement is seen as an extension of that strategy. While Project Chalk is technically a video calling solution, it differentiates from competing services by allowing users to turn their communications into an AR demonstration whenever they want to do so, essentially replacing pan, paper, and other tools consumers usually use for visualization.

The Project Chalk app provides users with the ability to mark, highlight, or write on their virtual screens and have their drawings visible to their recipients. The tool will help people make marks on AR images that can also be viewed using AR headsets, the company said. PTC Vuforia division’s President Jay Wright believes that the firm's new technology may facilitate the process of moving AR into the mainstream spotlight. Vuforia’s new app will also allow users to draw pictures on mobile or tablet screens using a finger or a stylus. In case users need a medium to help someone learn how to plug in a cable or configure a router, they can do so by drawing pictures or giving demonstrations using markers on a virtual interface, as seen in the screenshots below.

Besides drawing images, users can also create notes and draw over already available images. A picture drawn on an object or anything written over the image remains consistently placed regardless of how the recipient handles their device. For instance, if someone gets confused on which remote button helps in switching the TV channels, a user can show it to them by circling around the button over the remote’s image. The recipient, however, will be able to view the mark each time they open the image. Wright said that Vuforia’s Project Chalk app will allow two people to experience a communications dimension that was previously only possible if they were occupying the same space, referring to that experience as a "remote presence." An update on the availability of Project Chalk is expected to follow later this year.

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