AR Gardening

Period: 2020

Expertise: dev, AR, Unity, C#

Team: personal project

Developing an AR Gardening App

This AR Gardening app is a project for an AR/VR development course, and it allows users to plant plants/flowers and water them to grow. The motivation of this project is simple. When we just entered the COVID era, many of us were stuck at home, had nowhere to go and nothing to do. With this app users are able to distract themselves from stressful life by growing some plants and decorating their apartment in the virtual space. This project is still at an early stage and the demo is only a prototype of basic interactions. With this foundation, the app could be further developed into more robust applications.

Interaction I

Move device to find a plane. When the flower mark appears, click screen to place plants

Interaction II

Open watering can to water plants; or open menu to change plants to inset into the scene

Interaction III

To water the plants, tilt the device forward and the the water will come out of the water can

Interaction IV

Click to select a plant; once selected, use two fingers to rotate it, and hold and drag with one finger to move plants


The prototype is a marker-less AR scene developed with AR Foundation (Unity) and ARKit (iOS). With those, the program detects planes in the environment. Once a plane is detected, the objects (plants) will be planted on the intersection of Raycast and the plane. The “water” effect is created by Unity’s particle system. When the particle system collides with an object (plant), the object is enlarged. The objects inserted into the scene can also be selected by casting a raycast at the touch point on the screen, and manipulated (position and rotation) by hand gestures.

Future Work

For the future work, there are two possible directions:



It could be developed into a more sophisticated gardening game. We can introduce a reward system, e.g. users can earn medals if they hit a certain goal. In addition, the time aspect can also be introduced in the game and the status of the plants will change in the background, meaning, users have to check their plants frequently. This way users will be more engaged with the app and get more sense of achievement.


Garden planning

The other way is to make this app a garden planning tool. Having plants indoors has been a trend lately, such an app could be helpful for the users how the plant scene should look like in their apartment. To optimize the simulation, the 3D model of plants should be replaced with life-like plant images, and being able to be put on not only the horizontal plane, but also walls. Furthermore, the app can also include the social factor, introducing botanical artists to normal users for advice.