September 11, 2018

Augmented reality through the eyes of an 11-year-old

At first glance, Yuma Soerianto seems to be an ordinary 11-year-old boy. He hangs out with friends, plays the piano, and trains Taekwondo. But if you look for him online or talk to him, you’ll quickly discover his biggest passion: CODING! In fact, just a year ago the world got to meet Yuma, who is the youngest scholarship winner at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The mini-coding superstar from Australia started to code at the age of 6 because he felt school was not challenging enough. He created 8 apps so far, 2 of which overlay virtual objects to the real world. So that Yuma can dive even deeper into the augmented reality world, Wikitude gave him free access to its AR SDK. We can’t wait to see what he creates!

What Wikitude, Yuma, and Batman have in common

Sometimes he jokes about being Batman when he grows up. And even though he is joking, there is something that Yuma and Batman do have in common: Batman does not possess any real superpowers. He makes an impact with his genius intellect and technology. Yuma seems to head in the same direction.
Yuma batman shirt “I want to keep being an app developer and shape the future with innovations in technology” – Yuma Soerianto

Interview with Yuma

What is the future of AR from the eyes of an 11-year-old? What do you expect people to do with this technology? I’d say that AR glasses would be quite important in the future, and signs would be “hovering” around! You might have seen the game shopping app I made with ARKit image tracking on Twitter recently. That’s what I imagined the future would be with AR! Finally, electrical equipment nowadays (computers, phones, TVs) will be replaced by AR for convenience! Imagine you are living in the future, 40 years from now, where you use AR for everything you do. What would a typical school day look like for you in a full-AR world? Well, you would probably have notebooks, activity books as a flat interactive page (to save paper :D), with augmented whiteboards which can all be seen through AR! Everything else should be physical since you wouldn’t want to be falling through a chair! Yuma stack AR appWhat is the coolest AR app you know, and why do you like it? It would be Let’s Stack AR, because I made it. It won “Game of the Day” on the App Store! It’s also one of the few apps where AR makes sense since with AR you can actually see what your towers compare to in real life! The app took 3 months to build it. What other technologies are you excited to explore besides AR? Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the ones! Could you imagine studying and coding with no computer/phone but only using smart glasses? I could, but an augmented keyboard would not have the same feel as a normal keyboard, meaning that you don’t know what key you have pressed! Asking Yuma’s dad: Are there any rules in your family in regard to the use of technology? No, not really. Yuma is responsible enough to manage his time. Besides, he wouldn’t be where he is now if we had limited his computer use!

The next app, an AR game!

Paula Perrichot, Marketing Director at Wikitude, heard about Yuma’s passion for coding and reached out to him right away: “He shared that he is up for developing an AR game next, so we gave him free access to our brand new SDK 8.1. Now he can create AR apps not only on iOS, but also on Android and Windows.”

“My dad inspires me most”

Yuma has already pitched his ideas to Apple boss Tim Cook. Still, the person who is inspiring him most is his dad. His father Hendri is into UI design and HTML programming himself: “In the beginning I learned Swift together with Yuma, just to keep him company. I let the project aside after a few months, and he kept going.” Swift is Yuma’s favorite coding language so far: “Although I am learning Unity and might need to know a bit of C#.”
Yuma and Tim Cook

Yuma and Tim Cook at WWDC 2017 (Source)

Wikitude CEO Martin Herdina is deeply impressed by Yuma’s skills and is looking forward to seeing what he builds using SDK 8.1.
“Shaping the future with tech is also Wikitude´s mission. By putting a topnotch AR-platform out there, Wikitude is enabling anyone to create new worlds by using the toolset of augmented reality.” Martin Herdina – Wikitude CEO.

Enabling people, not only technology: augmented reality free for startups

With SDK 8 Wikitude comes up with even more news: for the first time, Wikitude is not only granting free access to its SDK for wunderkinds, but also to independent developers and early-stage startups.
“For us, it is not only about enabling technology, in the end, it is about enabling more people to use this technology”. Paula Perrichot – Wikitude Marketing Director.
Yuma is an inspiration to many people. More than 9000 people are following his YouTube Channel “Anyone Can Code”.

Do you share Yuma’s excitement for augmented reality?

Download Wikitude’s SDK 8.1 with full compatibility for iOS 12, Android 9, Unity 2018.2 and try our new experimental feature Plane Detection, (SDK for Unity and Native API).

Questions, comments? Let us know!

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