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Unity MARS and Flutter for AR

Using Unity MARS and Flutter to Author Cross-Platform AR ExpEriences

I previously experimented with combining the Unity game engine and Flutter (Google’s UI toolkit for natively compiled cross-platform apps) back in late 2019, early 2020; with mixed outcomes. At the time, I was working on an AR prototype using Vuforia, a framework for which a Flutter plugin wasn’t (and still isn’t) available. In any case Flutter is essentially a 2D platform while Unity is one of the most popular realtime 3D authoring tools. On the flip side, Unity has poor support for native-feel mobile interface. So, the combination of these two technologies should be a great match.

Flutter NFC

Using NFC Tags with Flutter

I recently developed functionality to allow an app’s users to sign in using a business card. The business card has an embedded batteryless, short-range communication device known as a Near Field Communication (NFC) tag. The user simply positions the business card close to their mobile device (usually top rear) and data is transferred from the static , wireless tag to the mobile device. Power is transferred from the mobile device to the NFC tag when placed in close proximity thus the tag containing the data does not require its own power supply. I have received a number of messages asking me to document the process.

Review and Retrospective

Over the past six months I have been working with Flutter and Firebase to develop a framework for a cloud connected interactive smartphone  expérience. The app delivers virtual objects into the  user’s real-world space with AR. The user searches and collects virtual objects over time. Each find unveils new interactivity, for example an object may […]

Narrativity in Mobile Computing Augmented Reality

My research interests have led me to want to understand more about the processes and determining factors behind the concept of ludological narrative and examine whether it could be worthwhile carrying out primary research to examine how mobile computing combined with augmented reality has already, or will through future innovation, enhance the existing narrative mode of computer games or whether this emerging medium may constitute a distinct narrative mode of its own.

Character Study: Femme Fatale

Researching the history and significance of the femme fatale in classic and revivalist film noir has provided rich insight to the complex nature of a characterisation that might otherwise be easily taken for granted. The common themes of beauty, sexuality and danger which emanate from the popular notion of the femme fatale only betray the true sensibilities of the subject matter.

Noirscape Swipe Card Development

Noirscape uses NFC (Near Field Communications) technology to add some fun to the signing in process. A detective ID card is among the items that will be included in the boxed version of the game but they’ll also be available via the future website and onlin merchandise store.

NFC is a tiny, low-cost, batteryless radio transmitter which allows app developers to embed the featherweight, waferthing device into clothing, toys, posters and just about anything else. In my case, I am using a business card format. The actual NFP cpmponent is inside the plastic and is only about an inch in diameter. For the purpose of my testing I have created my own version using card and a stick’on NFP emitter.

Noirspeak

The classic film noir era played out under the Hollywood Production Code, a strict set of guidelines that governed movie content throughout the nineteen thirties and forties. The Production Code meant specific restrictions on behaviour and language: no sex, no nudity, no blasphemy, no swearing… all of this meant that film makers had to get even more creative in order to express film narrative using metaphor, lighting, shadows, composition, focus and language.

AR Gamification : snaps

Finding hidden objects in an augmented reality [AR] experience is fun; especially when the items have interactive qualities which trigger new content, clues and narrrative. Furthermore, given the quality of 3D assets, AR lighting, shadow and reflection prediction and generation; coupled with a the Noirscape black & white filter, it’s a great little feature to be able to capture an augmented view within the home and share with others on social media or messaging.

AR : Fiction or Virtual?

Augmented Reality (AR) provides a way to place realistic looking virtual objects into a realworld scene. While the object may merely exist upon the screen of a phone; there are features to AR which combine the worlds; fiction and reality; beyond the two dimensional surface of a smartphone. For example, when a 3D object is placed within the AR scene; it may not be physically present upon the targetted surface; but certain qualities of the said surface are projected into the machine generated final composition (horizontality, width, height and distance of the plan) and ultimately this data is processed within the mind of the person who momentarily accepts the presence of a fictional item within their immediate realworld environment.

360 Flashback Interaction

This is a demo of an interactive scene using 360 photography, 3D character design and animation pulled together in Adobe After Effects to produce a WEBP image file which then has interaction through sound and buttons using the Flutter mobileapplication development framework.

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