My midterm project was an extension of my Trick++, and used the same deck of NFC-tagged cards I created for that project. This time, I developed the trick to move the reveal away from my phone and onto a volunteers – having the selected card appear on their smartphone instead of simply showing it on mine.
This was accomplished mostly with software development on my Android app. Since the application can know which card is selected long before the reveal, it isn’t limited to just displaying the image of the card. For this midterm I added functionality to automatically text the card to any phone, or send the card as an email to any address.
On the technical side, this was not difficult to implement. Sending SMS is trivial within Android apps, and required just a few lines of code. Email was only slightly more difficult, since it needs to authenticate with some sort of account, and I decided to just use a Parse app and a free Mailgun account. I also tried to get the app to post the group Slack, but since I’m a restricted user I don’t have the right access privileges.
The code for the app is available here, which is a little better organized than the version from the Trick++. The app has also picked up some other additional features, such as card history/deck tracking, just in case I decided to integrate those into a performance some day as well.
In review: although the in-class performance didn’t quite work out (it ended up being due to 1) my phone’s WiFi being off and 2) T-Mobile’s poor data coverage inside the depths of the Media Lab), I think this trick was an intuitive and natural extension of what I had already built. I wish that I had more time to develop more export destinations (Slack, Facebook, Twitter… anything!), but I think the trick played well as is. This midterm will probably also wrap up the career of my NFC deck, since I have a few separate ideas I think I’d like to pursue for my final.
So long, Magic Deck. You’ve served me well.