Inter-dimensional Portal with ARkit
An inter-dimensional portal teleports you to a completely different reality from the one you came from. Until now ‘inter-dimensional portals’ or ‘virtual portals’ were fantasies of what the future would hold. However, thanks to the development of innovative technologies such as augmented reality, science fiction can be turned into reality.
Inter-dimensional portals created with augmented reality are the bridge between real life and a virtual world that opens the door to the imagination. By simply stepping a few metres into the portal, we can emerge anywhere in the world: the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the British Museum, a Super Bowl football game or places and moments whose limit is the imagination of developers and artists: The possibilities are endless.
“At IDEA Ingeniería we have developed a virtual world that represents us, a world that shows the capabilities of Industry 4.0, of which we are the driving force.”
Augmented Reality: bridging the real and virtual worlds
Augmented reality is currently a little-known tool, but it is becoming increasingly prominent and is making its way into all areas such as industry, education, entertainment, etc.
Several projects have tried to bring this technology closer to society. Project Tango was one of the first. It was created by Google to implement AR in mobile phones, but the investment required to acquire one of these devices made it finally disappear, and evolve into ARCore. Meanwhile, Apple has developed its own technology, known as ARKit, consisting of an augmented reality library released in autumn 2017 with iOS 11.
ARkit is a library (SDK) that allows you to create augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad.
Virtual objects are able to recalculate their position based on reference points obtained from the physical world.
Thanks to these technologies,virtual objectsare able to recalculate their position based on reference points obtained from the physical world, thus integrating with the physical world and making them appear to be part of it.
One of the developments that these technologies have made possible is the recreation of dimensional portals, providing the experience of passing through them to travel anywhere in an instant.
At IDEA Ingeniería we have developed a virtual world that represents us, a world that shows the capabilities of Industry 4.0, of which we are the driving force.
The objective of this in-house development is based on the combination of strategy, creativity and technology. A project with a strong commercial purpose, since through the portal we show our Digital Transformation services in a different way.
Therefore, to see the possibilities brought by IDEA for Industry 4.0, you only need to cross the portal and let yourself be carried away by the engineering company of the future in the present.
Next, we are going to explain in a simple way, without going into too much technical details, how to achieve the dimensional portal effect with ARKit.
How is an inter-dimensional portal developed?
First of all, we need to choose the place to which the portal will take us. They can be environments designed and modelled from scratch, or real places that have been digitalised using 360º cameras or other techniques.
In order to generate and process these environments there are several tools, one of the most common being video game development engines and 3D design programmes. To develop IDEA’s portal, we have used Unity 3D and 3D Max.
“A shader is a computational algorithm that calculates how a point on an object responds to light”
Once the virtual environment is designed, we must create a specific shader for the project, as well as program the logics that manage it A shader is a computational algorithm that calculates how a point on an object responds to light. This shader will be in charge of rendering the cameras, which capture both the virtual world and the real world, in the plane that forms the portal between both worlds.
This is where the magic of dimensional portals lies. Depending on whether the shader is set to render the virtual world or the real world, and which one should overlap the other, we will be on one side of the portal or the other. Thanks to ARKit’s anchoring of the virtual world and the portal to the physical environment, we can determine which side of the portal we are on, and thus modify the behaviour of the shader and cameras.
Finally, it is necessary to compile the project to generate the application that will then be installed on ARKit compatible devices and… your dimensional portal is ready! It’ll take you to the limits of your imagination!