SpotMini

Very nice packaging and impressible mobility.

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There’s always a bigger boat…or two

It came as a bit of a surprise at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show that the 147 foot yacht here is regarded as barely even mid-size! Apparently this is a bit small to hold all of the required toys so one of these might be needed as an addition:

This is a support yacht and it’s where you keep your helicopter (or two if you want to do heli-skiing properly apparently), submarine, jet skis, tender, guests that you don’t really like etc etc. The idea is that it races ahead so that, when the owner arrives, everything is set up and ready. It seems that this is actually a cost-effective solution to a problem that extremely few people have. Whatever, it is an impressive piece of engineering in its own right and that giant crane looks like it could lift anything.

Definitely worth visiting this boat show – it’s totally mind-boggling in its scale.

Speeding up ARKit development with Unity ARKit Remote

Anything that speeds up the development cycle is interesting and the Unity ARKit Remote manages to avoid having to go through Xcode every time around the loop. Provided the app can be run in the Editor, any changes to objects or scripts can be tested very quickly. The iPhone (in this case) runs a special remote app that passes ARKit data back to the app running in the Editor. You don’t see any of the Unity stuff in the phone itself, just the camera feed. The composite frames are shown in the Editor window as above.

Using ARKit with ExpoKit, React Native, three.js and soon (hopefully) WebRTC


This rather unimpressive test scene, captured from an iPhone, is actually quite interesting. It is derived from a simple test app using Expo that makes it easy to use React Native, ARKit and three.js to generate native iOS (and Android although not with ARKit of course) apps. Expo provides a nice environment where a standard app supports rapid development of javascript apps on top of the underlying native support. This test app worked will in Expo within a very short space of time.

The only problem is that I also want to support WebRTC in the app. There is a React Native WebRTC implementation but as far as I can tell it requires that the app be detached from Expo to ExpoKit so that it can be included in Xcode. Unfortunately, that didn’t work as AR support didn’t seem to be included in the automatically generated project.

To include ARKit support requires that the Podfile in the project’s ios directory be modified to add AR support. The first section should look like this:

source 'https://github.com/CocoaPods/Specs.git'
platform :ios, '9.0'
target 'test' do
  pod 'ExpoKit',
   :git => "http://github.com/expo/expo.git",
   :tag => "ios/2.0.3",
   :subspecs => [
     "Core",
     "CPP”,
     "AR"
   ]
...

Basically “AR” is added as an extra subspec. Then ARKit seems to work quite happily with ExpoKit.