Francis Rubio


Revolutionizing education with augmented reality

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Made for
University of Caloocan City as part of our thesis project
I worked as
Researcher, project manager, lead developer
2018 - 2019

Quantarks is an augmented reality (AR) application for Android devices that serves interactive content to facilitate learning about the periodic table of elements. This was our thesis project for my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. This project was made by a team that included me and three other developers and designers that happened to be my best friends.

For this project, I worked as the lead developer. I also acted as the project manager. One of our teammates acted as another developer to help me. The other two were user experience (UX) designers, and one of them also worked on modelling the 3D objects that we incorporated in the app for the AR experience.


Chemistry is subjectively one of the hardest branches of science. And while teachers are smart and skilled enough to teach this subject, they could benefit from infusing entertainment into education.

The goal of this project is to create a prototype of an application that will eventually be used in a classroom setting in the Philippines. It also has to solve the following problems:


We started working on the project mid-2018. We initially explored using Android’s native application programming interface (API) for the user interface (UI), and Unity 3D and Vuforia for the augmented reality section. However, as the project progressed, we realized that this is not an ideal setup, and it would cost us much later in the development. We decided to scrap the UI we had and rebuild it using Unity 3D.

Because of how AR technology worked at the time, we also had to create markers, which are pieces of graphics printed on a medium. Each element on the periodic table had a unique marker printed on a piece of card that students could use personally. These markers were designed by one of our UX designers. He also designed a large periodic table with the same markers on it for use in a classroom setting.

Solving the problems

To tick off every item on the list of problems we need to solve, building the app is only a part of the solution. Our goal isn’t to just incorporate technology into education just because. Our goal is to incorporate entertainment into education, and technology is only one of the tools to make that happen. This means that we need to work on this project from the base, i.e. little technology involved, and progressively enhance from there by incorporating technology for those who can afford and use it.


We were not able to test this application in a real world setting. However, our team participated in the school’s thesis exhibit where students and visitors got their hands on our app. The reviews were generally good, with a few of them noticing the flaws of the application. Our project was also among the ten best thesis projects of that year in our university.


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