Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Augmented reality holds the potential to be the new fabric of our everyday lives.

Also known as AR, augmented reality is any technology that superimposes graphical information over a real-world environment, whether it be through a smartphone screen or visually projected onto the environment. Though it has existed in various forms for decades, augmented reality development is still widely considered the work of experts in technology-related fields.

In November 2019, however, Adobe unveiled a new augmented reality development platform, Project Aero, along with boasts that the app’s intuitive design and integration with other Adobe programs would place AR creation into the hands of casual users with no background in augmented reality or 3D design. Almost simultaneously, the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus resulted in travel restrictions, school and business closings, event cancellations, social distancing policies, and even mass quarantining by spring of 2020. Amidst the transition to working, studying, and socializing in physical isolation, augmented reality technology became a valuable platform for museum tours, art projects, product showcases, and much more.

In The Oceans Above Us, I examine the potential of Project Aero to empower casual users to create dynamic, custom augmented reality scenes from scratch, as well as the obstacles that are currently limiting it from fully doing so. I take on the perspective of a teacher, business owner, medical professional, etc. with no augmented reality experience and attempt to create my own “virtual aquarium” animated AR experience from vision to iii final product, in order to test whether Project Aero is ready to become ubiquitous in the hands of professionals from across every industry.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Mark Simpson, M.A.


Graphic Design | Interactive Arts | Other Computer Sciences