Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

May 19, 2011 18:06 ET

3-D "Avatouch" Augmented Reality Project Earns Lisgar Collegiate Student Innovation Award at National Science Fair

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 19, 2011) - A 17-year-old Grade 11 student at Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Ottawa Thursday won a 2011 Manning Innovation Achievement Award ( at the Canada-Wide Science Fair for his work in the development of 3-D visual experiences that combine real life with a rich, augmented reality experience.

Sandro Young was among 509 finalists competing with 425 projects at the 50th annual national science fair held this week at Seneca College in Markham, Ontario. Along with his $500 prize from the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, he received a Canada-Wide Science Fair Silver Medal, an S.M. Blair Family Foundation Award and offers of four university entrance scholarships for his innovative research project.

"Canada's future success and ability to grow depends on its capacity to innovate in all sectors and is the fundamental reason for the existence of the Manning Innovation Awards Foundation—to support, celebrate and encourage Canadians with the imagination to innovate and the stamina to succeed," said Foundation President David B. Mitchell. "This is especially important for the young bright minds we meet annually at the Canada-Wide Science Fair."

Building on his 2010 science fair project, this year Young focused on integrating computer content with reality. His system uses a headset equipped a camera and viewing screens that superimpose virtual content on top of reality. A camera captures the world as the user sees it, and virtual objects are superimposed onto the camera image, appearing in 3-D. Integral to the project is an infrared tracking system that Young designed. The tracking system monitors head and hand movement so that the user can move around in this computer-augmented reality and interact with virtual objects as if they are real.

While augmented reality is sometimes viewed as a pleasure-oriented technology, Young suggests that it has the potential to be much more. Notes Young, "AR promises to heighten our everyday experiences by adding virtual content to everything we do. It has the potential to penetrate every aspect of life—engineers and architects would use it to see their designs come to life before they are built. Doctors would use it in surgery, to superimpose MRI images over a patient's body."

Young is no stranger to national and international science fairs, having attended expos in Portugal, and, recently the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra, Australia. He will also attend the 2011 MILSET Expo-Sciences Internationale in Bratislava, Slovakia this July.


Photos available. For more information or to interview students, please contact the undersigned.

The spokesperson for Youth Science Canada/Science jeunesse Canada is Reni Barlow, Executive Director: 866-341-0040 Extn 230 or

About the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation: The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation recognizes the importance of Canadian innovation in strengthening our nation's capacity to compete in the global economy. The Foundation supports and celebrates Canadians with the imagination to innovate and the stamina to succeed. Visit for more information.

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