NFC based Game Experience
For Internet of Things pioneer NXP, we created the 'Machine of Things': a game experience that puts NXP's latest NFC product in the spotlight. Visitors of trade fairs, conferences and events can experience the product in a playful way, and learn about the exciting industries and ways in which this NFC chip is being used.
Don’t explain it, play it!
Smartphones extend the functionality of NF, by becoming the chip’s mobile interface. The perfect starting point for our concept: Only with the magic of a smartphone, can the 'Machine of Things' can be played and brought to life. The game mechanics are simple: Simply scan an NXP chip to get the ball rolling. an NFC chip that gets a virtual ball rolling. As the ball passes by a smart home, industrial and medical technologies, the user comes across various mini-games that need to be solved. All games are based on real-life applications: for example, configuring a machine or connecting a light bulb with the smart home.
See it, feel it, improve it!
We created the first prototype by taping d NFC tags to cardboard, and connecting them with LED strips. Thanks to this prototype, we could test and improve the scanning process, the arrangement and position of the tags, and how the digital and physical world should overlap. A special challenge: to direct the user's attention from the smartphone to the machine and back again at the right moment in time. Early testing also helped to find the right balance in defining our mobile games - not too easy and not too demanding, but entertaining and fun.
Physical and digital in harmony
The mixture of digital 3D and haptic elements overlapping the screen makes the installation a real crowd puller. Best planning is needed to ensure that physical technology and design elements match well when they come together in the set construction. The visual appearance of the machine reflects the game character and invites the audience to play. Furthermore it shows the innovative character of the brand through the chosen materials, lighting and colours. The individually designed ball leads through the application like a red thread: 3D animation, mobile app and LED tubes take on the colour of the ball.
One master for the entire installation
Stability, reliability and performance are very important within the trade fair context. But next to that we wanted to convince with visual quality. Modern frameworks such as Unity as the 3D engine and React for the mobile app are enabling that. The node.js based server is the central element of the installation and connects all technologies: the mobile app with native plugin for NFC, Unity app, LED stripes and NFC chips.
A modular concept for future needs
The entire installation is designed in such a way that the elements of each application area are interchangeable. The modular structure of the game mechanic makes it possible to adapt the mini-games of the mobile app, digital 3D, but also machine parts set up as haptic elements, to other fields within the Internet of Things.