During the pandemic, people have found it difficult to find the motivation to go outside and explore the world around them. We aim to reinstill this spirit of adventure and discovery, whilst allowing artists to gain breakthrough exposure and monetary compensation for their work—through publishing it in the form of NFTs for the public to view and purchase. NFTs are a technology that’s rapidly gaining traction as well, which inspired us to harness it and the power of blockchain and augmented reality (AR) to create a robust 3-D digital artwork gallery. The name ARtsy, is a pun on AR and Artsy :)

What it does

ARtsy is a mobile app that enables users to view, purchase, and own NFT 3-D models of user-made monuments and pieces of street art that can be found around the physical world and the digital blockchain. Users can view these models using AR when being geographically close to the monument. In that way, users will also get the chance of learning about the monument and history by looking at its description, and its NFT nearby neighbours (that are also AR 3-D models displayed on the street).

How we built it

The app is a mobile concept based upon a React Native, Expo, and Three.js foundation. ARtsy runs a custom and private blockchain (for Ethereum) built with Solidity to work on a Google Cloud Service Compute Engine, and ARtsy’s own API backend introduces the necessary file storage on a Google Cloud Service bucket storage for public NFTs.

Challenges we ran into

  • Creating the logo on Figma was challenging
  • We had many troubles with Expo and React Native when trying to integrate augmented reality with these frameworks
  • We were a little overambitious trying to create our idea :'(

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • We're proud of not giving up despite our numerous struggles.
  • We’re proud of creating a blockchain that supports an NFT market
  • We're proud of constructing an innovative beta project harnessing cool technologies!
  • We’re proud of our React Native design

What we learned

  • We learned how to code and implement a blockchain
  • We learned about how React Native and AR work, and how to incorporate them into a full-fledged application!
  • We learned to use the Google Cloud Service

We learned that Expo has certain limitations regarding installing other npm packages for advanced customization. This was unfortunately a major limiting factor to the development rate of ARtsy, but also a tremendous learning experience.

What's next for ARtsy

  • Implementing transaction functionality and blockchain interactions on the mobile app
  • Fixing vulnerability issues
  • Having the full implementation of augmented reality

All in all, we envision ARtsy to be an all-in-one platform for 3-D artwork creators, and provide a futuristic, groundbreaking experience for people to view and purchase these NFT monuments, using AR and blockchain. We aim to continue developing this platform to iron out all the bugs, and implement all the functions we initially envisioned.

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