Getting Started with AR Development in Flutter: A Step-by-Step Guide

Getting Started with AR Development in Flutter: A Step-by-Step Guide

Modern technology is influencing every aspect of our lives. AR development is a newly developed idea that is essential in resolving a variety of commercial difficulties, whether in the business category, retail, gaming, healthcare, or even the military. The development of the applications, however, makes it difficult for business owners to select the best tech stack. The one extensively used tech stack that provides a wide range of solutions to improve your consumers’ overall experience is called Flutter. With a step-by-step tutorial for creating Flutter augmented reality applications, their Use Cases, and the Companies that profit from AR apps with Flutter, we will discuss the round-the-corner features of these applications and reasons to choose them in this blog article.

Getting Started with AR Development using Flutter

Speaking of developing cross-platform applications for platforms like Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and Google Fuchsia, we are aware that Flutter is a well-known software development kit by Google.

On the other hand, augmented reality is the real-time overlay of generated perpetual information with the user’s environment while integrating digital data. Contrary to virtual reality, which produces an artificial environment, it just bends the digital and 3D elements to reflect real-world senses.

Why Build AR Applications with Flutter?

You should use Flutter to create next-generation Mixed Reality experiences for an array of reasons. Let’s examine a few Flutter features that help Flutter developers create outstanding mixed-reality applications:

1. Integrating Multiple Platforms Seamlessly

It is simpler for product owners to provide engaging augmented reality experiences thanks to the Flutter plugin (ARKit for iOS and ARCore for Android), which gives access to mobile sensors, cameras, and functions like motion tracking, light estimation, and environmental comprehension.

2. Architecture for Widgets

It has a widget-based architecture to make it easier to create widgets or components that are specific to your needs. These Flutter widgets can enhance your Flutter augmented reality experience by adding 3D models, overlays, animations, interactive features, and more. Additionally, its UI design versatility enables you to create one-of-a-kind, eye-catching interfaces.

3. Real-Time Rendering and High Performance

It makes use of the Skia rendering engine, which is recognised for its focus on performance. This includes real-time rendering and virtual object tracking, which guarantee fluid animation and rapid interaction for enhancing the entire experience.

4. Hot reload

You can use this function in your Flutter app development to make code changes and immediately see how the app updates without having to restart it whole. Additionally, it enables quick iterations, enabling you to test interactions, experiment with mixed reality aspects, and improve app behaviour in real time.

5. Cross-Platform Integration

The key reason why Flutter apps are so popular is because they can operate on cross-platform development, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and others, using just a single line of code. It takes less time and effort and gives programmer more time to improve the functionality of augmented reality and polish the user experience.

ARKit and ARCore

Software development platforms known as ARCore and ARKit serve as the Flutter plugin that makes augmented reality experiences possible on mobile devices.

Google’s ARCore platform allows developers to create augmented reality (AR) apps for Android devices. It provides resources and APIs for creating augmented and virtual reality experiences. With the help of the ARCore Flutter plugin, you can position virtual objects in the real world, find surfaces to anchor virtual content to, and interact with it. ARCore combines motion tracking, environmental awareness, and light estimation. You can reach a wide audience with new augmented reality experiences thanks to ARCore’s compatibility with a variety of Android devices.

On the other side, Apple’s ARKit is a collection of tools, libraries, and APIs for creating engaging augmented reality experiences on Apple products. You can merge immersive and interactive virtual content with reality by utilising your device’s camera, motion sensors, and scene analysis to enable object tracking, surface identification, and real-time lighting estimation.

The main distinction between ARKit and ARCore is that Apple-exclusive support works nicely with SceneKit and SpriteKit.

Flutter Developers from Flutter Agency

Steps of Building AR Apps in Flutter

It’s important to be aware of the requirements before diving into every detail of this step-by-step tutorial to build Flutter AR Applications.

Prerequisites

  • You must first install the most recent version of the Flutter SDK on your desktop or laptop; you may do so by clicking here.
  • You must have the Dart plugins and extensions installed and an IDE or text editor, such as Android Studio or Visual Studio Code, on your computer.
  • Purchase an emulator or physical device to test Flutter’s AR apps. Make sure they both support the ARCore or ARKit features for Android or iOS.
  • Additionally, download the packages that allow you to use the ‘arkit_flutter_plugin’ for iOS and ‘arcore_flutter_plugin’ for Android AR capability.
  • Run ‘flutter pub get’ to obtain the Flutter packages after adding the necessary dependencies to your project’s ‘pubspec.yaml’ file.

Step 1: Installation and Setup

Install Flutter initially by following to the official installation instructions provided by your operating system.
Then, install the Flutter and Dart plugins in the IDE of your choosing, such as Android Studio or Visual Studio Code.

Step 2: Build a new project

Run the following command as specified below by opening your terminal or command prompt (cmd):

flutter create ar_app

The command above initiates a brand-new project called “ar_app.”

Step 3: Add the dependencies as necessary

To add dependencies, open the pubspec.yaml file in your project directory and add the following:

arcore_flutter_plugin: ^latest_version
  arkit_flutter_plugin: ^latest_version

These will enable you to incorporate augmented reality into your Flutter-based AR apps.

Step 4: Upgrade the dependencies

To download and update the new ones, enter the following command into the terminal:

flutter pub get

Step 5: Create an AR scene

Open the main.dart file in the library.

For creating a general AR scene, replacing the current code with the following example code:

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 the arkit_flutter_plugin for iOS and the arcore_flutter_plugin for Android, the code mentioned above will create a simple augmented reality scene. It produces a 3D object in the form of a box for the AR scenario.

Step 6: Run the app

The setup of an emulator or simulator, or connecting an actual device.

Run the following command after navigating to the project directory:

flutter run

The AR application will be deployed and run on your device or emulator using the code above.

Different Augmented Reality Types and Its Working

You may generally build your Flutter augmented reality application and implement its functionalities. An use case, however, is dependent on the functionality you want to include in your application. Let’s examine its name and gain an overview of how it functions.

1. Marker-Based

These are image recognition ARs, which depend on a visual marker or QR code to start the interactive experience, also known as a fiduciary marker. To turn on the visual effects, you must use your smartphone’s camera to scan the marking. The digital image will then appear in 3D on your screen. The only drawback is that in order for it to work, you need a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet and a special app.

2. Markerless

These utilise on data from GPS or accelerometers in mobile devices to identify and track the user environment and pinpoint the location of the virtual content rather than physical markers like QR codes or photos. This enables your app to overlay virtual content appropriately based on the spatial connections and orientation of objects and surfaces in the user’s point of view. As long as there are distinguishable features, such as corners, textures, and objects to track, it can function on uneven surfaces. Keep in mind that the environment’s complexity and variety have an impact on its accuracy. It is more expensive and complicated, but it is also the most often used alternative for online gaming and shopping.

Three additional AR Types from Markerless are as follows:

1. Projection-Based:

A flat, two-dimensional surface, such as a wall, floor, or object, is used to project 3D images or digital material. It mostly produces holograms for events and movies, not completely immersive settings. It can be used to display holograms at live events like pop-up stores or store openings.

2. Superimposition-Based:

The physical object or feature, such as a book cover, a product label, or a landmark, is entirely or partially replaced by a digital augmentation, and the relevant digital content is then overlay over the object or feature. Customers may receive a more engaging experience if virtual arrows are placed on their environment or if a feature allowing them to view product information by pointing their smartphone camera at a product is enabled.

3. Location-based:

It uses geographic information to display digital graphics in particular areas, making it useful for gaming, with Pokémon Go being the most well-known example. It could be used by businesses who wish to gamify the shopping experience to attract customers to interact with their goods. For instance, you could design a digital treasure hunt to motivate customers to look around your shop and earn incentives.

Applications of AR in Use Cases Developed with Flutter

When creating online applications like PWAs or SPAs or moving your current mobile app to the web, Flutter for web development is the best choice. When creating AR apps using Flutter, there are more interesting use cases available. The adaptability of this technological development creates a wide range of opportunities across multiple industries, offering unique and interesting client experiences. Here are a few cases:

1. eCommerce & Retail

Augmented Reality can improve the shopping experience by enabling realistic and interactive previews that let you virtually try on clothes, accessories, and makeup, among other things. Their device’s camera may be used to show them how things look on them in real-time, assisting them in making informed judgements about their purchases and eventually helping the retail and eCommerce sectors increase consumer engagement and increase sales.

2. Entertainment and Games

Players can interact with virtual people and items that are superimposed over their real-world surroundings in games that use mixed reality, creating countless opportunities for innovative gaming features like physical movement, object identification, and gesture-based controls. To provide a fully interactive and dynamic game experience, players can participate in treasure hunts, fights, and puzzles that flawlessly mix with their surroundings.

3. Marketing and Advertising

Through the use of digital content that is superimposed over reality, marketers are able to bring their goods and services to life. Users can view augmented reality (AR) advertisements on their devices that seamlessly integrate into their surroundings, boosting the message’s overall impact and memorability. This all-encompassing strategy produces a unique and personalised consumer experience that leads to greater engagement and brand memory.

Additionally, it allows for try-on and interactive product visualisation. Users can digitally “try on” clothes, jewellery, and cosmetics, as well as view how different pieces of furniture or home décor would look in their rooms. This interactive element of augmented reality advertising enables customers to interact with products more deeply, boosting trust and conversion rates.

Also Read: How to Build an App Like Snapchat A Comprehensive Guide

Brands that uses AR Apps with Flutter

Many businesses have recognised the potential of AR applications with Flutter, predicting how it may help create immersive and interactive experiences across various industries as technology replaces the old user experience. Flutter can have a significant role in influencing their choice as more brands and businesses incorporate AR feature points as technology develops. Let’s take a look at a few businesses who made the decision to use Flutter’s capabilities to develop cutting-edge AR applications.

1. The Times of New York

Flutter was used by The New York Times to create interactive narrative experiences. They developed augmented reality (AR) applications that make their news stories come to life, allowing viewers to interact and immerse themselves in the content they are reading.

2. Snapchat

Although it does not utilise Flutter entirely, Snapchat has integrated it into its development process. By merging Flutter’s UI skills with its AR capabilities, Snapchat can provide fun face filters and other effects for its clientele.

3. Alibaba

By utilising Flutter’s capabilities, the renowned international company has shown its dedication to augmented reality. For its e-commerce platforms, it has created AR experiences that let customers digitally try on accessories, clothing, and makeup in real time.

4. Google

Google actively works to improve the AR capabilities of Flutter apps as the company that created Flutter. Google’s proficiency in AR technology and dedication to Flutter, which has made them a significant participant in the Augmented Reality with Flutter market, are the primary drivers of its popularity.

Conclusion

It summarises the content of this tutorial blog about augmented reality in Flutter that we offer for you. And given the data specifications above, it is a great option for Flutter AR app development. You can hire Flutter app development company like Flutter agency to help you navigate the process and make the best decision to get the most out of your Flutter augmented reality application if you are a business owner who is unsure if it should be your first choice for your upcoming development project.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality?

Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital information onto the real world, enhancing and augmenting the user’s perception of reality. It blends virtual elements with the physical environment, allowing users to interact with both real and digital objects simultaneously. Whereas, Virtual reality (VR) immerses users in a completely virtual environment, shutting out the physical world. It creates a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Users typically wear a VR headset to enter and navigate these virtual environments.

2. Can we create an AR application with Flutter?

ARKit for iOS and ARCore for Android are two preferred choices. These frameworks offer the resources required to create AR applications, including 3D tracking, environmental comprehension, and light estimation. Next, you must think about the user interface of your programme.

3. Is it possible to build markerless app with Flutter?

Yes, it is possible to build markerless AR apps with Flutter. Flutter has various AR development frameworks and plugins available, such as ARKit, ARCore, and Vuforia, which support markerless AR experiences. These frameworks provide the necessary tools and functionalities to create markerless AR apps using Flutter.

Book Your Flutter Developer Now

Nirali Patel

Written by Nirali Patel

Nirali Patel is a dedicated Flutter developer with over two years of experience, specializing in creating seamless mobile applications using Dart. With a passion for crafting user-centric solutions, Nirali combines technical proficiency with innovative thinking to push the boundaries of mobile app development.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discuss Your Project

Connect with Flutter Agency's proficient skilled team for your app development projects across different technologies. We'd love to hear from you! Fill out the form below to discuss your project.

Build Your Agile Team

Hire Skilled Developer From Us

"*" indicates required fields

✓ Valid number ✕ Invalid number

ready to get started?

Fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon!

"*" indicates required fields

✓ Valid number ✕ Invalid number