This post aims to identify the relevant research areas for Leapin.It. This requires further clarification on whether leapin.It is categorised as ubiquitous computing, augmented reality or a combination of both.
Mixed reality  combines virtual worlds with real worlds by facilitating interaction between physical objects from the real world and 3D graphics from the virtual environment. Figure 1 shows an example of a mixed reality project where a head-mounted display is used to transform the user from the real world to view images in the virtual world. Some mixed reality projects involve extracting information from the natural senses of the user, such as their movements and touches, and feeding them to the virtual world as shown in Figure 2 . Mixed reality is usually classified into two sections of augmented reality and augmented virtuality. The inclusion of graphics from the virtual world into the real environment is called “augmented reality” whereas the inclusion of graphics of real physical objects in virtual environments is referred to as “augmented virtuality” [Figure 3].Furthermore, augmented reality applications on smartphones refer to extracting additional information about real world objects by pointing at them and having digital markers in the real environment (e.g. QR codes) . In addition, building augmented reality applications for smartphones is a promising area since these devices have sensors, cameras, Internet access and GPS . Moreover, there are three main features that define augmented reality interfaces which are:
1- Having 3D graphics.
2- Combining objects from the real and virtual worlds.
3- Having real time interactions with the end users.
Therefore, mixed reality can be considered as a branch of ubiquitous computing containing three distinct areas:
1- Interacting with tangible interfaces .
2- Embedding computers in real environments .
3- Spatial and temporal contexts are essential .
As a result, although our social network is a 2 dimensional space and doesn’t involve computers which are running in the background in the physical world, three digital markers are used to identify real world objects and therefore transferring users to virtual worlds. These markers are QR codes, bar codes and recognizable photos. Hence, it can be considered as an augmented reality project.
As defined in , virtual worlds are mainly concerned with social aspects such as allowing people to have immersive ways of communication and interaction, and providing rich social and emotional experiences that can be considered as substitutions to face-to-face interactions. Therefore, the types of communication tools used in these environments are essential for these online communities to evolve and to allow people to gain emotional satisfaction that can be an alternative to their everyday social experiences. These tools can be simply text-based comments, voice chatting, video-based responses, non-verbal communication such as gestures, avatars, photos or a combination of them all . Furthermore, colours and emotional icons add more value to these worlds by helping people to have more expressive and rich forms of communications . Therefore, incorporating social networking features into virtual worlds is important. For example, Daesung et al. present a prototype of a location-based social network which uses the avatars in the Second Life virtual world and smart phones by users in the real world .The connection between the virtual space and the real space is accomplished through mapping the location of avatars in the virtual world to the real world and using smartphone sensors to know the locations of users in the real world to be mapped in the virtual world as shown in Figure 4. The avatars located in the virtual world, and the users that are moving around in the real world, can socialize through exchanging text based messages .In addition, as an attempt to understand the factors that motivate Second Life users to share their experiences, Carman Neustaedter and Elena Fedorovskaya  interviewed 20 users and had observed the interactions that took place in Second Life for a period of four months by creating two avatars. One of those avatars is male and the other one is female. The results of this study classified Second Life users according to their degree of immersion as “Lifers” and “Casuals” .Lifers participate more than casuals in Second Life activities and have the desire to return to the virtual environment to socialize with their partners and make more friends which is similar to how they socialize in their real worlds. Thus, it is important to consider how the users immerse, share, get to know like-minded users and participate in our virtual world and how the conditions of this environment can be changed dynamically as they progress and interact with other users .
In addition, the findings of this study show that distributed photo sharing is the most common form of communication that is used by lifers. This enables them to send photos directly from one avatar to another; in other words, they can select a specific partner that they want to send their photos to. This is similar to sending an email from one person to another in the real world.
Our social network will have a mixture of communication tools including text-based comments, audio responses, video responses and photos to allow people to socialize effectively. Moreover, each user will have an avatar as a digital representation to allow him/her to be identified by other users within the social network.
 Cheok, Adrian David, et al. “Mixed reality for social and physical interaction and entertainment.” Proceedings of the 2006 international conference on Game research and development. Murdoch University, 2006.
 Monika Fleischmann and Wolfgang Strauss. 2001. Linking between real and virtual spaces: building the mixed reality stage environment. Aust. Comput. Sci. Commun. 23, 5 (January 2001), 29-33.
 Gotow, J. Benjamin, et al. “Addressing challenges with augmented reality applications on smartphones.” Mobile Wireless Middleware, Operating Systems, and Applications. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2010. 129-143.
 Jang, Daesung, et al. “Overlapping and synchronizing two worlds.” Proceedings of the 19th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems. ACM, 2011.
 Carey, John. “Expressive communication and social conventions in virtual worlds.” ACM SIGMIS Database 38.4 (2007): 81-85.
 Neustaedter, Carman, and Elena Fedorovskaya. “Capturing and sharing memories in a virtual world.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2009.
 Hughes, Ian. “Virtual worlds, augmented reality, blended reality.” Computer Networks 56.18 (2012): 3879-3885.
Edited by FH