An Augmented Reality Internship Update.
"My name is Ethan Montgomery, I’m the Augmented Reality intern headed into my Junior year.
I found out about the internship opportunity when Mr. Shall (STEM Engineering Instructor) put me in contact with Mr. Dow (Panther Industries President) after he saw my experience with augmented reality. One thing lead to another, and eventually from that Mr. Dow gave me a job developing an augmented reality app for Panther. I started off really excited, and despite my experience I still didn’t know too much about augmented reality, so I definitely ended up learning a ton. A ton about working for a company as well, which was new for me.
I worked on a prototype for the first three to four weeks. Panther wanted to figure out whether or not the concept was worth pursuing further, which it luckily turned out to be. Afterwards, we kept developing the app, and eventually ran into a problem with our tracking solution. We started with the camera recognizing separate images, and from that the app knows where to display the 3D model. Since then we’ve changed it to where the camera sees the entire world around and generates a 3D plane of where the floor is and where the walls are, and from that, the 3D models can interact with everything around them. We ended up changing it because the app would only work when the images could be properly detected. This caused a lot of problems, because often the conditions would not be ideal and there would be a lot of stuttering involved, which was really distracting. By switching to detecting the floor, everything became a lot more stable.
I really enjoyed developing the app, working with everybody, and learning a ton about augmented reality and software development. Really though, just being here was awesome. The toughest challenge was really getting the augmented reality to actually work. Getting the camera to track the images – and obviously we moved away from that method – but then once again getting each and every component, the camera, the phone, etc. to understand the world around it and interact correctly with it took some time and effort. The internship has taught me a lot about software development, especially with augmented reality, and its also taught me how to carry myself in a workplace. It has definitely helped because I’ll probably be doing similar things when I’m an adult. So I guess this was kind of a dry run, or practice for that.
But just getting to work with this technology very extensively has helped me get ready for doing more stuff like this in the future. Panther’s a great company, and I loved working for them. I learned a ton, and everybody’s super friendly. I’d highly recommend anybody to apply next summer for an internship. I couldn’t really ask for a better experience."