How to build AR apps with flutter?

How to build AR apps with flutter?

As high-powered smartphones and sophisticated computer vision capabilities become more widely available, an increasing number of apps are integrating AR features. In 2021, the mobile augmented reality (AR) market was estimated to be worth 12.45 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to jump over 36 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.  

Digital information can be superimposed over the actual environment, opening up many opportunities for app developers and consumers alike. One of these platforms that has been getting a lot of buzz lately is Flutter. You have come to the right place if the question “how to build AR apps in Flutter?” is what you are seeking.

Introduction to Flutter

Flutter, Google’s open-source user interface toolkit, has simplified the process of developing beautiful, fast apps for desktop, web, and mobile using a single set of source code. 

Its emphasis on reusable widgets and Dart programming language base make it easy for developers to create beautiful and versatile animated user interfaces. This reduces development time significantly while also encouraging a more efficient code layout by flutter app development company in the USA

One more thing that helps with development is the ability to apply changes to the code in real-time, which is called hot reload. Due in large part to these characteristics, Flutter has risen to the pinnacle of the stack for businesses and developers seeking to create feature-rich, scalable applications. 

Acquiring Knowledge of AR

Augmented reality (AR) is a game-changing technology that enhances our interactions with the real world. Digitally created content, like text, images, and even complex 3D models and animations, can be superimposed over our real-world environments using augmented reality (AR), in contrast to virtual reality (VR), which creates an entirely digital world. 

A device with sensors and advanced computer vision algorithms is necessary for this technology to function, such as a smartphone or smart glasses. Algorithms like these monitor the user’s real-world view, analyze it, and then track their every move. By superimposing this digital content over the user’s vision in real-time, digital upgrades can be seamlessly integrated with their physical environment.

Why use Flutter to build an AR app?

Flutter is the best choice for next-gen AR experience development for a number of reasons. Here are a few Flutter features that can assist you in making top-notch AR apps:

  • Streamlined integration across multiple platforms

The Flutter plugin (ARCore for Android and ARKit for iOS) makes it easier for product owners to access mobile sensors, cameras, and functions like motion tracking, light estimation, and environmental understanding. This allows them to create appealing Augmented Reality experiences.

  • Widget architecture

It lays out a widget-based architecture that you can modify to make widgets or components that fit your requirements. Among other things, these widgets allow you to enhance your Flutter augmented reality experience with 3D models, overlays, animations, and interactive features. Its customizable user interface design also lets you make visually beautiful and unique interfaces.

  • Impressive speed and real-time visualization

Using the Skia rendering engine—renowned for its performance-centric approach it improves the overall experience. This method ensures smooth animation and quick interaction with features like real-time rendering and virtual object tracking.

  • Quickly reloading

This feature allows you to edit your Flutter app’s code and observe the changes immediately, eliminating the need to restart the app. Moreover, it enables rapid iteration, letting you experiment with mixed reality features, observe interactions, and adjust the app’s behavior in real-time.

  • Capability to operate on various platforms

One reason why Flutter apps are so popular is because they run natively on so many different platforms. Because fewer tasks need to be completed, additional time can be dedicated to enhancing the augmented reality features and user experience when you hire flutter app developers.

Tutorial on building AR apps with flutter

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this article’s instructions for creating Flutter augmented reality apps, make sure you have everything you need to build your app.

  • Make sure you’re running the latest version of the Flutter SDK, or at least the software development kit.
  • The Dart plugins and extensions, as well as an IDE or text editor like Visual Studio Code or Android Studio, need to be installed.
  • You have the option to test your Flutter-built AR apps on an emulator or a physical device. Verify that they are both ARKit (iOS) and ARCore (Android) compatible.
  • You should also acquire the packages that make it possible to use the augmented reality features of the ‘arkit_flutter_plugin’ for iOS and the ‘arcore_flutter_plugin’ for Android.
  • After you’ve added the dependencies to your project’s “pubspec.yaml” file, run “flutter pub get” to get the packages.

Step 1: Setting Everything Up

To begin with, get Flutter installed according to the guides furnished by your operating system.

The next step into the Dart and Flutter plugins is to insert them into your favorite integrated development environment (IDE) for example Visual Studio Code.

Step 2: Make a brand-new development.

Launch the command prompt (cmd) or terminal and type the following:

flutter create ar_app

And so the command is `”ar_app”` where a new project by the same name will be created.

Step 3: Include all necessary dependencies

 

Launch your project’s directory and locate the pubspec.yaml file. Then, to add the dependencies, follow these steps:

arcore_flutter_plugin: ^latest_version

  arkit_flutter_plugin: ^latest_version

Along with the development of Flutter based Augmented Reality apps, they can be made to be integrated into the existing applications.

Make sure that the latest version of the plugins is used by replacing “latest_version” with the appropriate names.

Step 4: Update the dependencies

Entering the following command into the terminal will update and download the ones that were added:

flutter pub get

Step 5: Create an AR scene

Proceed to the lib/main.dart file and open it.

 

import ‘package:flutter/material.dart’;

import ‘package:arcore_flutter_plugin/arcore_flutter_plugin.dart’;

import ‘package:arkit_plugin/arkit_plugin.dart’;

 

void main() => runApp(ARApp());

 

class ARApp extends StatelessWidget {

  @override

  Widget build(BuildContext context) {

    return MaterialApp(

      home: ARScene(),

    );

  }

}

 

class ARScene extends StatefulWidget {

  @override

  _ARSceneState createState() => _ARSceneState();

}

 

class _ARSceneState extends State {

  ARKitController arkitController;

 

  @override

  void dispose() {

    arkitController.dispose();

    super.dispose();

  }

 

  @override

  Widget build(BuildContext context) {

    return Scaffold(

      appBar: AppBar(

        title: Text(‘AR Scene’),

      ),

      body: ARKitSceneView(

        onARKitViewCreated: onARKitViewCreated,

        enableARKit: true,

        enableARKitLightEstimate: true,

      ),

    );

  }

 

  void onARKitViewCreated(ARKitController arkitController) {

    this.arkitController = arkitController;

 

    final node = ARKitNode(

      geometry: ARKitBox(

        width: 0.2,

        height: 0.2,

        length: 0.2,

        chamferRadius: 0.0,

      ),

      position: ARKitVector3(0, 0, -0.5),

      eulerAngles: ARKitVector3(0, 0, 0),

      lightingModelName: ARKitLightingModel.lambert,

    );

 

    arkitController.add(node);

  }

}

Using this sample code as a replacement for the current code will generate a generic augmented reality scene.

The said code will set up a basic AR scenario by making use of the arcore_flutter_plugin for Android and the arkit_flutter_plugin for iOS. It creates a cardboard box-shaped 3D object for use in an AR environment.

Step 6: Run the Application

Connecting a physical or virtual device is the next step.

Navigate to your project’s root directory and run the following command:

flutter run

With the aforementioned code, the augmented reality app can run on your device or emulator. The additional features of augmented reality plugins let you add more objects and interactions, so you can now play around with them and make your experience better.

Conclusion 

Flutter has swiftly gained popularity for creating AR applications due to its numerous practical features. Thanks to this tutorial, you have no idea how easy it is to create an AR app with Flutter, and the possibilities are endless. The software development and consulting firm ManekTech is well known for its custom software, web, and mobile development services. Contact them right now!