The AR Circuits app, for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and supported Android devices, simulates an electric circuits kit using printable component cards and augmented reality technology. Users design circuits by arranging component cards, and interact with them using the AR Circuits app and the camera on their mobile device. The app transforms the paper component cards into functioning electric components on the device screen.
AR Circuits was created to provide students and educators a lower cost and safer alternative to physical electric circuit kits. The app is a fraction of the cost of physical kits and never requires new batteries or other replacement parts. Additionally, the app-based electric circuit kit does not have the same risks of exposure to toxic chemicals or high temperatures from bulbs and short circuits.
There are currently 18 components available for AR Circuits, after the most recent update. Components include one battery with 4 voltage options, two switches, four bulbs, one resistor, nine wires, and one component for testing the conductivity of various materials. The component cards are available at arcircuits.com and can be printed on a home printer. The app is capable of simulating any circuit that can be designed with the component cards. This includes series, parallel, and combination series-parallel circuits. Circuits are formed by arranging the component cards on a flat surface. Junctions between components automatically form when two or more components are in close proximity.
Components can be interacted with through the touch screen on the user’s mobile device. Selecting a component on the device screen provides the user with additional information and allows components to be adjusted. Component adjustments include turning switches on or off, setting battery voltages, setting resistor values, and adjusting the resistance of bulbs. The app also includes a new voltmeter feature that allows users to measure voltages in the circuits they create.
AR Circuits has had three major updates since it was first released in February. New components and features are on schedule to be added every few weeks. The last major update included an Android version of AR Circuits.