Cross Platform, Digital, Xamarin


Last week, as a company we had a hack day. Everyone (well all the developers) stopped their normal work and had two days to see what they could produce.

The Brief

Produce an immersive Augemented or Virtual Reality experience.

The Prizes

  • A bluetooth wireless speaker
  • A  mini drone
  • Pie Face (the kids game with skooshy cream)
  • Eternal respect and bragging rights in Linknode Towers

The Technology

Our standard developer kit is to use Xamarin to make cross platform C# for android and iOS. So for this hack day, I wanted to give everyone the option to use whatever tools (software / hardware) they wanted.

  • An Oculus Rift DK2
  • Google Cardboard
  • A DSLR camera and a Go Pro
  • iPhones (various different types)
  • Android phones (various different types)
  • Unity / MonoGame

The Starting Gun

The Entries

VentusAR Fly Through using WebGL on Google Cardboard / Oculus Rift

ventusar_cardboard ventusar_oculusrift




Experiementing with WebGL to create something for  google cardboard experience. This provdes a views for each eye that when viewed togther provide a stereoscopic effect. In theory the same technique could be used to show the VentusAR Fly Through on the Oculus Rift.

Google Street View on Google Cardboard

Screenshot_20151113-102946Can we provide an Outdoor Virtual Reality experince using imageary from Google Street View and view it while on site. This takes the GPS location from the device and contacts google street view to show photography from that location.


Surviving the blob onslaught (with Unity for Google Cardboard)

Screenshot_2015-11-13-16-30-59A simple survival game based where users, wearing the Google Cardboard headset, have to explore the virtual world. They are under sustained attack from blobs, which they must destroy using the magnetic switch on the side of the device. Built in Unity so is cross platform, this game runs well on Android and iPhone devices.

Exploring panoramic photographs with the Oculus Rift

Could we take a 360degree panoramic photograph and explore our way aorund it using the oculus rift. This would anchor the photograph in real world position and as you move you head, only show the part currently shown in the current field of view.  However, getting the oculus rift running in 2 days proved hard.

The Results

Ryan won the best experience prize with his ‘Surviving the blob onslaught’ game for google cardboard. He won the drone and eternal bragging rights within Linknode Towers (or at least until we do it all again sometime in 2016). Congratulations Ryan.

Minh and Rufus shared the Most Commercial possibility prize for their efforts with bringing existing VentusAR functionality to google cardboard / oculus rift.


We would pick three over-riding thoughts that we took out of this hack day:

  • The pixel resolution of a phones screen is visible when viewed through the google cardboard lenses.
  • The google cardboard is crying out for other methods of getting input
  • Getting anything to work with the Oculus Rift is hard

In all there are some interesting additions we could add to VentusAR that provide more immersive virtual reality experiences. Watch this space…