Visualising the Seafloor Through Your Phone (INTERACTIVE)

11 Mar 2022

We are developing an augmented reality mobile application for visualising cold-water corals in 3D using your mobile phone

Larissa has been working with Priscila de Oliveira from Universidade de São Paulo (USP) on creating an augmented reality (AR) app to visualise 3D models with mobile phones using game development software.

Recent studies have found that augmented reality can significantly improve ocean education (Kasinathan et al., 2021). The integration of underwater photogrammetry with augmented reality has the potential to take us beyond, towards unveiling the mysteries of deep-sea environments.

The app has been developed using Vuforia Engine, Android Studio and Unity. Unity is a game engine platform developed to create real-time 3D objects for various applications. The photogrammetry part for making the sample 3D models was done using Agisoft Metashape. Check out Larissa’s previous post o know more about the photogrammetry process.

Priscila is an MSc student in Geospatial analysis from USP. Working alongside our long-time research partner Dr Luis Conti, they use multispectral drone images to describe biophysical parameters of mangroves. Luis is also working on Larissa’s project ASMAT as her co-supervisor.

We chose to recreate a small piece of the Porcupine Bank Canyon, located approximately 300 km, to share this AR experience with you.  In the model we put on this Google Drive link, you will see a few coral frameworks, sponges and shells recreated from a small area at 957 metres depth.


Example of how to use the APP to visualise our cold-water coral reef models. Just download the APK file and scan it on the QR code provided

We have created a survey to get your feedback on the experience. Please leave your impressions on this Google Forms here. The input will be great for us!

See you soon with more 3D updates

Larissa Oliveira and Priscila Almeida


Kasinathan, V., Al-Sharafi, A. T. A., Zamnah, A., Appadurai, N. K., Thiruchelvam, V., & Mustapha, A. (2021). Augmented reality in ocean’s secrets: educational application with attached book for students. Linguistics and Culture Review, 5(S1), 1123–1137.

Marine Geosciences Research Group

University College Cork

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, North Mall Campus, University College Cork, North Mall, Cork City, T23 TK30